In times where the web delivers effortlessly delivers the opinions and reportings from thousands of media outlets, influencers and experts, news quickly spreads around the world - as we've seen with the recent Coronavirus epedemic.
Growing up as a kid, I used to watch the news in the living room - fearing for my life because some 'new' virus was out to kill us all. In recent years I've grown tired of the same old killer-trends that seem to occur every year. From SARS in the 2000's, to Ebola back in the 2014.
Nowadays, I avoid the news like the plague! While there is some stories that are good to know the majority is 99.99% not relevant to me and not beneficial to my mental wellbeing.
Social media is very present in my life and most likely yours too. People have progressively shifted away from the TV and transitioned onto their devices. With this comes even more misinformation and over-hype when it comes to things that are 'threatening the human race', dare I say it.
Therefore, aside from flu epidemics, we're now discovering on social media there is a pandemic for toilet paper! So too are less life-sustaining products such as food and water. But I digress, as the weeks roll on events, businesses and in some cases countries are closing their doors.
I digress, viruses, especially those that are airborne and contagious, like that of Coronavirus, really highlight the importance of leveraging the web to ensure your business can still connect with its customers.
While those self-quarantining are at this stage in the low figures, or just in general staying indoors to avoid contact with the outside world, a website is a great way to continue to operating your business if quarantining became more wide-spread.
Unfortunately many business owners still to this day do not have an effective website or strategy to even as to how they can implement a website into their business.
Key factors to consider when future-proofing your website for these types of events include:
- Having plans in place for your resources such as shipping providers and payment gateways
- Defining the channels of communication within your website. Such as phone, email, video-call, instant message
- Verifying you have backups or redundancies in place for your website provider. If there is power outages or network issues in the area your server is based, you may want some backup service providers so you don't have your website go down
- Carrying stock on hand that you can sell. While drop-shipping is appealing to reduce capital outlay - in cases of pandemics where things sell-out in 5 minutes, carrying extra stock will ensure all your customers have access to product - especially if your suppliers are lacking in product to supply you with
Whether you're a service business working from home or a retailer with a physical store that is no longer able to open its doors to the public - a website is a key tool to help sustain your businesses function during uncertain times.
It's also clear that every single day more people are relying and entrusting the internet with their living requirements. From ordering dog food, to buying fine wines - every business needs to invest in a professional web profile so that they future-proof their business as more people buy directly online versus going into a physical store. Perfect time
So while the web is often used to spread paranoia and misinformation, it contradictively also has a more positive benefit: to help businesses continue connecting with their customers and staff.
Now you're probably thinking "How does a website help prevent the spread of Coronavirus?"
Put simply, it helps people give people more access to buy without having to leave their home. Important if those people are potentially sick and carrying a virus!
In turn, the risk of a virus spreading is less! It's a win-win for everyone. You, the business-owner can still operate and sell from your home. You can protect you and your family, from having to leave your home and risk being exposed to a virus, and indirectly - others around you benefit because you're not another 'moving target' that's risking spreading such viruses!