How to move your business online

How to move your business online

Covid-19 has businesses scrambling to get online after the
New Zealand wide lockdown highlighted the vulnerabilities of
bricks and mortar, but a significant number of businesses
are getting it wrong.

CEO of digital marketing agency
Insight Online, Kim Voon, said that
while big and small businesses recognise the need to future
proof themselves online after they were exposed during the
lockdown, there needs to be a more measured approach.

“More than half of our inquiries are from companies
that want to shift to online marketing and customer service,
even businesses not traditionally associated with digital
processes, including commercial boiler companies and
trucking companies.

“This includes retailers that
relied heavily on brick and mortar and a centralised
physical location to do business. So many Kiwi businesses
have relied on brochure websites, but that is changing
fast,” he said.

In the past, many businesses may have
relied on their websites to generate leads which were then
picked up by a salesperson, who would qualify the sales lead
and take it from there. However, more businesses now are
thinking about automating most, if not all, of the sales and
service processes.

“We are a digital marketing
agency, so our work is heavily weighted in marketing, but I
am increasingly in touch with many businesses that want to
put more of their processes online but are not looking
before they leap. This includes investing in expensive
marketing automation platforms that may not be fit for
purpose, or even necessary.

“I want marketing
managers and business owners to look at their processes
before they decide if its right for them. While most
decision-makers were aware of automation and the
opportunities, they weren’t doing it pre-Covid. Now they’re
rushing in because they want to avoid risk, but all they’re
doing is creating more risk — we need to take a breath and
take stock.”

Voon offered the following advice for
companies looking to shift their marketing and customer
service online:

1. Map
your processes

“Think about and document the
current processes in your business. What journey does the
customer follow through your business, from awareness
through to post-purchase? Get staff feedback and map it out
on a whiteboard.”

2. Identify the online

“Identify what can be taken
online,” Voon said. “For example, after-sales support, such
as checking in to see if the client is happy, can easily be
done with email or messenger.”

3. Start

“Make changes progressively and slowly.
Don’t go the whole hog with an enterprise solution before
you’ve had time to learn and understand how technology can
help your business.

“I see too many businesses
purchase enterprise system before they’ve had time to work
out how their internal processes and functions would
integrate with the software. If you don’t have a process or
a system, don’t just jump in and buy software,” he said.

4. Invest in training
“Avoid making
changes without the planning, money and time to invest in
training your people. Make sure you have a programme to
adjust to change and transformation. Too many decisions are
coming from the top, without consideration of how staff will
cope,” Voon said.

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I'm business helper , i have 20 year experience in business management sector. I help many business owners to grow business. My passion is helping fellow entrepreneurs and small business owners succeed.

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