5 Ways Small Businesses Can Use their Website to Survive the COVID-19 Crisis

With the recent global developments surrounding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small businesses everywhere are being forced to think outside the box in order to survive. For many, who cannot conduct business as usual by being in the office, at the store, or seeing customers, relying on their website is their only hope. Here are 5 ways small businesses can use their website to make it through these challenging times.

1. Communicate with customers
From changes in store hours to product availability, small businesses are using their website now more than ever to share important updates with the community. A website allows businesses to easily, safely and cost-effectively communicate with their customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
2. Online ordering
For some businesses, online ordering has become the only source of revenue. Restaurants restricted to carry-out or delivery-only are hooking their website up with popular platforms like Seamless, DoorDash, Grubhub and Uber Eats to offer online ordering to their customers. Other businesses such as hardware stores and pharmacies are using their website to allow customers to email their order for curbside pickup.
3. Stay visible
You know the saying: "out of sight, out of mind." If you’re not visible, you’ll quickly lose market share to the competition. A website helps businesses stay connected to customers and keeps leads coming in, especially when in-store traffic is down or stores are temporarily closed. Remember: consumers are still searching online for local businesses and no better time than now for them to develop the client relationship, which can be done without being face-to-face.
4. Offer coupons and specials
A website is a great way for businesses to promote coupons and specials. And since some consumers are surviving on reduced incomes, offering discounts during this time is wise, and a very empathetic thing to do that can build reputation in the community. In some markets, traditional media sources like newspapers and coupon circulars have stopped printing due to COVID-19 and a website is the only way for businesses to post coupons and deals.
5. Job postings
While some businesses are temporarily closed, other essential businesses like supermarkets and delivery businesses are flourishing and are unable to keep up with demand. These businesses need to hire new employees – and fast. A website is a great way to post job openings and accept applications en masse, online. 

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