Businesses are set to face their hardest winter ever this year as lockdown restrictions continue to take effect across the UK.
The three-tier system, recently imposed by the UK government, can see towns and cities shut up shop with less than a week’s notice, putting millions of SMEs at risk.
A new report by Simply Business1 reveals that a staggering 1 in 5 SMEs believe they will not survive a second lockdown, with many now moving away from the High Street and focussing their efforts online.
In July 2020, research from Growth Intelligence showed that during the first stages of lockdown more than 85,000 businesses launched online stores2 as business owners looked to continue trading.
To support SMEs who are looking to move online Fasthosts has detailed tips on how to make sure your business not only survives, but thrives online:
How to make your business thrive online during lockdown:
1. Use a website builder
Your website is your ‘shop front’ and needs to impress any potential customers who may land on your site.
Without a website, your business may be seen to lack legitimacy in the eyes of a customer, while a poor quality one could reflect badly on your business.
Luckily there are many website-building tools available, allowing you to build a professional website without needing developer knowledge.
2. Cloud storage and computing
The ‘cloud’ simply means that you can store and access data over the internet rather than keeping it on your computer or hard drive.
By immersing yourself and your business in the ‘cloud’ you will be able to back up data helping with recovery during any potential data loss as well as having increased security.
Working in the cloud can also improve accessibility. Staff working at home or remotely will be able to have access to most, if not all, the data and tools they need to do their jobs.
3. Have you considered VPS hosting?
VPS (virtual private server) hosting is a cost effective way to help businesses scale up their online activity.
While shared hosting means that your website will share its server resources with others, VPS hosting is like having your own server, but in the cloud.
An advantage to VPS hosting is its scalability. A small business may find it hard to predict the amount of traffic its website might receive which can be an issue if its customer base quickly expands. Unlike a shared server, a VPS can quickly increase its capacity and help the website scale up its operations with minimum fuss.
4. Transfer your domain registration
A domain registrar is the company who helped you purchase and set up your website domain name.
The challenge for many small businesses however is that many registrars sign you up on a low fee, only to increase the prices over time.
Many registrars may offer you a fantastic low price to switch – just remember to check how much it will cost in a few years’ time. Transferring to a new registrar is actually very simple, and most importantly free!
Full information can be seen at https://www.fasthosts.co.uk/blog/pandemic-tips-supercharge-your-small-business-during-lockdown/