How are you getting on at home? Is this period of enforced domesticity actually something of a relief? A time to read, catch up on correspondence, and generally recharge the batteries?  
 
Or is it driving you a little mad being cooped up with nothing to do except worry about business? 
 
People are reacting in different ways. But the one thing we all have in common is that we are all relying on the internet a lot more than we could ever have imagined. 
From family get-togethers and pub quizzes on Zoom and other video platforms, to queuing endlessly for an online shopping slot, a huge portion of life now revolves around being online.  
 
Yes, things will hopefully return to normal in the coming months, but there is a sense that life has changed in some more permanent way. 
 

Why businesses need to be online 

If you are running a business during these challenging times, what you might have realised is that having an online presence or marketplace is essential.  
 
With the closure of physical shops and establishments, the only way to keep businesses going is over the internet. It remains one of the only revenue streams left available to many businesses, a crucial way to maintain some kind of income when all other sources have dried up. For thousands of small and large businesses across the UK, this could be a matter of make or break. 
 
As mentioned above, this is not just a short-term change. When things get back to normal (if there indeed is such a thing) then it is almost certain that online shopping rates will remain much higher. This enforced period of change is the catalyst for a more long-term shift in the way we do things. 
 

How to get your business online 

One of the main barriers for moving a business online or creating an online marketplace is the lack of skills. You may think that creating a website and ecommerce site is beyond your capability. Whilst there are many cheap and cheerful DIY website builders out there, so many are actually more difficult to use than they seem at the outset. The real secret to online success is to get professional help. 
 
Just as doing your accounts and payroll can be done with several hours of time and some basic accounting software, it is easier, more convenient, and better for business to get an accountant to do it for you. In the same way, if you want a website and online presence that really reflects your business, it pays to get professional help. 
 
That’s exactly what we do here at it’seeze. Our team of professional designers and web specialists will work closely with you to create an online presence that you can be proud of. We can create branding and design that really works, showing you off at your best and driving traffic to your site. 
 
We can also help with the other major stumbling block for many online businesses: suitability. You may think that the goods or services you provide are not really suited to an online wing of the business. But in these challenging times it pays to think outside the box. You might well ask yourself how businesses like gyms, hairdressers, and farms can create online revenue streams, but in the last few weeks we have helped all three to set up an online presence and start to make money. 
 
For our gym clients, we helped them to create a platform to run and sell online courses, with people joining in from home (something that may well continue after the lockdown period).  
 
Hairdressing is a hands-on profession but selling the products that go with it can still continue. The salon we worked with set up an online shop and delivery service. After all, people still want to look good even if they are confined to their homes.  
 
And our farm client has set up a box scheme, delivering fresh fruit, veg, and other farm products to customers in the local area.  
 
The demand is still there, it’s just a question of figuring out the supply. Our team of local consultants can help you to realise this and provide you with all the tools to succeed in this new business environment. 
 
Think about what you do. There will almost certainly be a way to monetise an online service that could be the difference between seeing out these challenging times and throwing in the towel. And a lack of technical knowledge should be no barrier to you achieving this. We can take care of every aspect of the creation of your online shop, and our packages are affordable too. 
 

Make the choice to succeed in difficult times 

This is not an ideal situation for any business, but you face a choice. You can close your eyes, cross your fingers, and hope for the best. You might see out the lockdown period. But with every week that goes by, this becomes more and more difficult.  
 
Or you can use this period to diversify your income streams, create a new arm of your business, and drive sales up, even without having a physical presence. This could be the beginning of a very fruitful new period in your business. 
 
Our Shop package is perfect for small to medium-sized businesses looking to make the move online. It comes complete with an easy-to-use drag and drop editor, giving you total control of your site. There are loads of other useful tools and it works seamlessly with Excel, so you can use your existing data to bring the shop online faster. Whether you have five products or services to sell or 50,000, our online shops can help you to reach your market. After all, they are just sitting at home waiting for you. 
 
Get in touch with our team to find out more about how we can help you to beat the business challenges posed by COVID-19. And most of all, stay at home and stay safe. 
 
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COVID-19 Update: Hello! We wanted to let you know that during these exceptional times, we remain open for business and committed to helping small businesses go further online. 
 
We're still here to provide you with professional web design and expert website support - the only difference is we're now taking all client meetings online, ensuring you receive the same great service at a safe distance. 
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