Now more than ever, those who are using a virtual platform for selling their products and services are thanking their lucky stars. So, what about those who are finally looking to turn to the dark side by going digital?
We’ve seen retail spaces and restaurants shut down, social celebrations canceled and fairs, festivals, and trade shows removed from the calendar for the foreseeable future. The fact is that even this month, there are new challenges being faced by many of us in our personal lives and businesses. In this ever-changing Coronavirus filled world, if you’ve been on the brink of exploring virtual selling, you can bet your bottom dollar that making the push to move forward into an online space is going to be one of the best decisions you’ve made recently for your business.
The truth about the quick jump to virtual business
“It’s going to cost a lot of money that I can’t afford to invest right now.” This is one of the biggest assumptions small business owners have about making the transition to online selling and let me assure you, this is a lie. The biggest investment you need to make during this season in your business is a shift in mindset. If you can lean into your creativity by shifting your mindset to new opportunities and reminding yourself that you are more in control than you realize, then you don’t have to spend a ton of money and time you may not have right now. Scout’s honor!
Boost sales and keep your doors open (even if those doors are figurative)
Making the move to selling online will not only help you during Coronavirus craziness but in the long term as well. This will allow you to expand your reach to so many more people than you ever could in person. Just imagine the opportunity to engage your existing customers and inspire new shoppers as well! It will also allow more flexibility with your offerings and your time, and can even put an ease on some of your physical demands.
Get organized and be selective about what you offer and who it’s for
It can be easy to want to jump right in without taking time to really think about your sales strategy ahead of time, but that little bit of planning will help you be more successful when making the virtual switch! Be selective and know what works for your business virtually and what doesn’t.
If you sell physical products, understand what items are feasible to deliver locally or ship out based on their size, weight, fragility, and packaging needs. Make sure to review your inventory and assess whether you have enough quantity to sustain what you’re selling. Do you have a plan for fulfilling your orders? What about calculating shipping before you set your shipping rates?
If you sell services, it’s important to be inventive and extra selective with what you’re offering! What can you update to fit the virtual need and what can’t you? Focus on what your audience will find the most value in, especially in a season like this! If you’re stronger at closing deals in person, think about scheduling virtual consultations over video so you can be face to face. If you are adding online courses or events, make sure to take time to explore which platforms your customer will access your service: Zoom, Facebook Live, downloadable PDF, etc.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew, but get started
Hiring a talented web designer or graphic artist is a wonderful investment and building a new website with an e-commerce platform can certainly grow your business, but guess what? You aren’t limited to those choices just to get started selling online! Did you know that 62% of smartphone users have made a purchase on their phone in the last six months? That tiny computer that’s in your hand all day can be a huge resource!
You can begin selling online through your website if you have one or a third party like Facebook, Instagram, eBay, Amazon, Shopify, and others. Dive into your social media and create posts and stories marketing what you’re selling and offer sales, incentives, or create special packages you haven’t offered before. If you already have an email list (even if it’s only ten customers), you can sell to them via email! Offer payment options like PayPal and Venmo just to get started and make it easy.
Embrace whatever you have at your fingertips and think outside the box of your usual sales tactics!