Preparing your business for 2020’s virtual holiday season
With the coronavirus pandemic changing every aspect of our lives, it’s only natural that the ways in which people purchase products and services also need some adjusting. And with the upcoming holiday season fast-approaching, small business owners must go where the consumer is: online.
Here’s a helpful checklist for you to look over to prepare your business for the holiday season and help boost your bottom line throughout the pandemic.
Claiming your business online
Claiming a business listing online allows you to manage your business and interact with current and prospective customers 24/7. Each platform has its own perks and verification processes to maintain your presence on the web. Below you will find some key resources to help you claim and list your business online.
- Google My Business
Google allows entrepreneurs to freely list their business online. Simply create a Business profile with people, and reach customers across Google Search and Maps. The profile gives you insights into how customers are reaching your business, and tips on how to improve and increase more transactions.
Claiming your business on TripAdvisor will give you access to free tools for growing your business. You can manage and customize your listing details, upload pictures, connect with customers and join the conversation for increased feedback about your offerings.
With Yelp for business, you can add or claim your business, keep your page updated with the most recent information about store hours, safety guidelines and more. Customers can request quotes, make appointments or ask questions right on your business page, increasing visibility and accessibility for your establishment.
- Facebook Business
With Facebook Business Manager, small business owners can coordinate advertising accounts, pages and the people who work on them—all in one place. It's free to use, though advertising will come at a cost.
- Nextdoor for Local Businesses
Claim your free business page with Nextdoor. Nextdoor connects neighbors to each other—and to everything nearby: Local businesses, services, news updates, recommendations and items for sale from the people down the block.
Create a free professional profile with Houzz, a platform for interior designers and decorators, architectural and home improvement businesses.
To easily move your inventory online, use Pointy to have it appear on Google Maps and within Google search results. Pointy is mostly free to retailers, depending on compatible points of sale.
Building your own online presence
As a small business owner, a website can help you to promote your products and services to current and prospective customers from anywhere in the world. But with so many website builders to choose from, it might be overwhelming to choose one that works best for you and your business. For an overview of different website builders and the options available to you, check out the best small business website builder.
But if building your own website feels too intimidating and burdensome, you can also move your inventory and sell your products and services on e-commerce sites.
Marketing your business with social media
Small businesses are always competing for the customers’ attention and social media marketing can be an incredible tool when you’re trying to reach a certain demographic. Social media marketing is particularly useful for small business owners who don't have a ton of personnel or funds to invest in marketing, and yet simple enough that they can utilize to promote their business online.
Don't forget about taxes
Even if you’re familiar with the relatively new rules for charging sales tax online and think you’re exempt, the situation is rapidly changing. When states first adopted sales tax regulations for online purchases, they set economic thresholds that a business had to meet before they were required to remit sales taxes for online transactions. Stay ahead of the game and learn what small business owners need to know about taxes and selling online in the COVID-19 era.