In today’s economy, more and more business operations are being done online. As a result, small businesses must make the jump to online product offerings in order to compete. One of the challenges small business owners face, however, is keeping up with customer demand during this transition. It can be difficult to manage teams, handle inventory, give employees tools, and handle customer service from a purely online perspective. However, there are many ways to target these issues. Here are some of the ways your small business can meet demand while switching to online offerings.
Build a Dedicated Digital Team
First, it is important to build a dedicated digital team. The needs of your business will be different once it goes digital from how it was in a brick-and-mortar context. If you want to successfully manage the transition to online operations, one of the best things you can do is to build a dedicated team of employees to run the digital parts of your business. By hiring the right group of people with good digital business skills, you can make the entire process of moving your business online much simpler. A dedicated team can help your entire operation to prosper.
Reserve Some Inventory for the Transitional Period
Try to reserve some of your inventory to carry you through this transitional period. Even during the smoothest digital business transformation, there are bound to be some bumps in the road. To make sure you can easily get through any rough patches, it’s a good idea to have some extra inventory on hand. If there are snags in ordering or manufacturing while your attention is diverted, you’ll have extra product available to make up any shortfall. Keeping some inventory in reserve will allow you to flexibly handle any issues that may occur.
Give Your Team the Digital Tools They Need
Make sure to give your team whatever digital tools they need to do their jobs. During your switch to online business, your team will be working harder than ever. To ensure success, be sure to give them the tools they need, including modern office desktops and high-speed unlimited internet. Employees who work from home will likely need to upgrade their bandwidth and home office set up, so do what you can to facilitate this. You should also consider an office subscription to a collaboration software that will allow your team members to work on complex tasks together without having to be in the same room.
Outsource Some of Your Customer Service
If you’re still not sure you can keep up with demand, you might consider temporarily outsourcing some of your customer service functions to a call center or outside sales representative. Hiring outside specialists to help can make it easier for you to focus on taking your business digital. You may even find that this model works well for your business in the long run.
By taking these four steps, you can set your small business up to continue meeting customer demands while you transition to an online business model. Try to get as many things in place before going digital as possible. By taking care of some of your logistics early, you can streamline your task list as you go digital and create fewer opportunities for things to go wrong.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan
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Comments on How Small Business Can Keep Up With Demand While Switching to Online Offerings
Building a digital team is the first step. I am offering Bookkeeping services virtually. I know how much team building is important. The second thing that you have to do provide the required tools to the digital team.