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The internet is loaded with benefits for your business. However, if you’re new to the idea of going online with your company, you may have concerns about how safe the world wide web is for your business. The best way to conquer those concerns is to face them head-on and learn how to protect yourself.
If you have fears about moving your business online, you’re not alone. According to website maker, Wix, 40% of British businesses have no online presence.
While we don’t want to diminish your fears about moving your business online, amid a global pandemic, and yet another national lockdown in the UK which is forcing many brick and mortar stores to close, can you afford not to be online?
Let’s take a look at some of the more common worries about moving your store online, and hopefully, put your mind at rest.
Unsurprisingly, concerns over internet security tend to be the biggest barrier stopping some businesses from moving online. It’s a valid concern, there’s not a day goes by without news of a cybersecurity attack hitting a business and affecting operations for minutes, hours, weeks, months, even years or wiping out a company totally.
Cybersecurity fears among business owners have only intensified amid the coronavirus pandemic, since there has been an increase in online activity and transactions since March 2020.
In fact, research conducted by insurance company, NFU Mutual, found that 47% of businesses with an online presence felt more vulnerable to a cybersecurity attack since the pandemic started.
However, the very same research highlighted that a whopping 45% of businesses have done nothing to protect themselves from cyber-attacks. 79% thought they had no need to safeguard against online hackers because their business was too small and the threat of an attack was low.
The remaining 21% said they were unaware or didn’t understand the protective measures that were available to them.
The formula for conquering your cybersecurity fears is to get educated and be prepared. Have a cybersecurity strategy in place to ensure that your business is covered. There are many options available to you, including:
· Personalised cybersecurity training
· Investment in the latest cybersecurity software
· Investment in a reliable Virtual Private Network (VPN)
· Divide, encrypt and back up your sensitive data
· Use a hosted service that does all this for you (such as OurLocal!)
Moving your entire business operation online, be it your accounts, HR data and other key areas of your company, and putting all your trust in servers to keep everything flowing, can seem like madness. The thought of managing a business online through servers is a genuine concern among company owners.
After all, business downtime as a result of server issues can cost companies thousands every year.
However, simply maintaining your servers will help you to avoid significant issues. One of the most common causes of self-induced server failure is forgetting to update software and regularly testing server performance.
Having a server maintenance schedule reduces the risk of business operations grinding to a halt as a result of issues, especially if the majority of your company is operating online.
Of course, many small businesses don’t even have to deal with servers, their office software, email and website are handled by a third-party company who will manage all server upgrades for you.
If you have a website though, you might find you need to make sure software and services are all up to date constantly.
As bugs and errors creep into software all the time, it’s essential you keep them up to date, doing daily checks to ensure any new updates are installed.
A common objection to an online presence, especially among small businesses, is that going online is just too expensive. However, this is a common misconception and often viewed through the lens of the initial cost of launching and maintaining an online presence as opposed to looking at the bigger picture.
Yes, the initial outlay for a website with an arsenal of functions and features can cost £10,000+ – which is a huge investment for small businesses.
However, if you offset the initial cost of launching a website against how much revenue it will generate each month, the return on investment far outweighs the initial cost. According to Review42, a website makes businesses more profitable.
It proves to be more expensive not to have a website, with Review42’s research indicating that anywhere between 70 – 80% of potential customers are lost to companies without a website – in the grip of a global pandemic, when increasing turnover is crucial to survival, these percentages represent a huge hit for a company’s bottom line.
Fortunately, there are ways in which you can get a foot on the website ladder without having to have a huge outlay.
OurLocal makes it really easy to get online, with all your updates done for you.
Some business owners see an online presence as just something else to manage, wasting time and resources that could be better applied elsewhere. However, this isn’t the case. Shifting your business online is proven to improve business flow and operations while cutting costs.
Many of the manual aspects associated with running a business in previous years have been replaced by the ability to automate recurring tasks. Business administration has also greatly improved, reducing the need for paper-based filing systems and better organisation of data and information.
Having an online presence makes your business multi-purpose. You can market to customers 24/7, generate leads, close sales, keep your accounts in order, manage stock and inventory levels and more, all of which would require costly, time-consuming elements if managed manually.
If you’re looking to reduce the volume of manual tasks within your organisation, online is the place to be.
What if my business doesn’t make enough money? What if I don’t get found online? There are plenty of excuses you can come up with not to move your business online, but perhaps the overriding excuse is a fear of failure.
However, some of the greatest business icons of our time had to face failure before they got to where they are today. Let that be an inspiration to you.
You may not be the next Richard Branson or Martha Lane Fox, but the way to deal with your fear of failure is to ‘flip the script’… what if you make a stack of money? What if your business becomes the go-to place on the web?
We’ll leave you with this… The internet has revolutionised the way businesses operate while opening up a whole world of opportunities. As online business advocates, it delights us to see companies succeed and there’s no ulterior motive behind us encouraging you to get online with your business.
In an age where the internet is the go-to place for people doing research, browsing and buying – even more so amid coronavirus – your business needs to be online to survive and thrive.
OurLocal.uk is a low-cost online shop solution, designed to help independent, small businesses maximise their potential.
We’re here to help you get online quickly and easily.
THE RISK-FREE SOLUTION TO GET SELLING ONLINE QUICKLY AND EASILY.