The impact on businesses since the beginning of the first lockdown in March 2020 has turned out to be much more than just sending everyone home to work remotely. Other consequences for many have been the mothballing of projects and contracts, difficulty in obtaining prompt payments of invoices, and a slow down in productivity. Most small businesses with office-based staff develop a working dynamic and can sync into the ‘machine’. Take this machine away, and it completely upsets the working culture, communication is more difficult, and output slows. Add these to staff illness, shielding, isolating, and sadly, redundancies for many, and business in 2021 has become a completely different animal.
Changing attitudes and PANIC!
It seems the whole world has shifted online. Zoom are rubbing their hands all the way to the bank and schoolchildren are now experts with Microsoft Teams. Businesses must adapt and many are but sadly, when cashflow has taken a kicking, often the first thing to be cut is the marketing budget. At least traditionally.
We’ve seen a shift during this pandemic in this attitude. At the end of March last year we had a flurry of enquiries from companies who said they needed a new website. Often urgently. The vast majority of these were business owners who had suddenly realised that normal business was over, proper face-to-face meetings and networking were impossible, and that they realised that the main source of new business was going to be from online sources. In other words, there was a lot of understandable panic. Fear is a great galvaniser into action, but acting through panic rarely ends well. Our advice at the time was to most of these enquirers was to hang fire on paying out for a new website and see how things pan out and wait to see how the lockdown routine settled.
Shake it all about
After everything opened up again in July, pretty much, business kind of returned to normal for many people. Then it went pear-shaped again in the autumn when we all started doing the lockdown hokey-cokey and here we are at the beginning of 2021 in another lockdown but, fingers crossed, with light at the end of the tunnel if the vaccines work as promised.
The importance of a website during lockdown
Businesses seem to be less tense this time and many, realising that this may be the deal for some time to come, are taking a much more pragmatic and considered approach to what their websites need to do for them and the importance of a website during lockdown. Most have accepted the shift to online practices, despite all of us being thoroughly fed up of having to stay in and can’t wait to just waltz into a pub on a whim one day. The importance of a website is now uppermost in a lot of company owners’ minds and they are now seeing it as something that is central to their business, rather than something that ‘they ought to have’ or as some kind of bolt on to their normal business practices. This realisation means that now is the time that businesses should be looking to see if their website is doing its job, or, indeed, doing a job at all. In these times, a company website has arguably a more important job than at any time before. Bigly.
If you need any help and advice, please do get in touch with us as ask us how we can help you shift more profitably to online practices.