How to move your business online and recover video transcript
Watch the video Small business disaster hub - How to move your business online and recover to learn how to transition your business online after a disaster.
Global pandemics and natural disasters have meant many small businesses have had to adapt quickly and move their services and sales online.
For some businesses this has been the difference between staying open or closing down.
Moving your business online can help you keep trading after a disaster and provide new income and opportunities.
It can also help broaden your customer base here and overseas and lower your costs.
Going online also means you can manage your business from anywhere and give customers 24/7 access to your products or services.
Before you move your business online:
- research online competitors and what works
- find out what laws or regulations may apply, like privacy, copyright and spam
- plan for potential IT or cyber threats.
You can use our step-by-step guide to help move your business online.
The first thing you need to do is to register a domain name to create your online identity.
Use an availability checker to see if the name is available.
You can use free or paid services to register the name.
Visit business.qld.gov.au and search 'registering a domain name’ for more information.
The next thing you'll need to do is find a web hosting company.
Most major internet service providers host websites.
Costs will vary depending on the size of your site and the level of user traffic, storage space and security that you need.
The next thing you need to do is to create your website.
When you prepare your content – keep it simple and focus on what you want your customers to do.
Use relevant keywords to make your business easier to find online.
You could even consider hiring a professional to design and build your website, so customers will trust you. Remember, first impressions count.
You could also ask them about pre-designed webpage templates that can save time and money.
It's also important to align your website design to your business brand, so customers will recognise you.
The next thing you need to do is make your website mobile-friendly.
This can attract more users.
And make your site easy to navigate with pages that load quickly.
You should use large buttons and font sizes.
And don't use software that isn't widely supported.
You should also check how your site looks on mobiles, tablets and desktops regularly.
The next thing you need to do is to plan how to list your offering.
You need to think about how you'll display your products or services.
You could use images, drop down menus, item catalogues or booking schedules.
You also need to include a search tool.
And providing secure payment options is really important so your customers feel safe buying from you.
You could also automate responses to customers when they purchase a product or service via email and provide receipts.
You’ll also need to decide on delivery options and returns policies and make these clearly available on your website.
You need to make sure customers can contact you easily.
The next step is to boost your website's visibility
You'll need to learn about search engine optimisation, or SEO.
SEO tactics can boost your site's ranking in search engine results, like Google, so customers can easily find your business.
You can improve your SEO by using relevant titles and keywords and regularly updating your content.
You can also use paid advertising or search engine marketing to drive more customers to your website. This is also known as 'pay per click'.
You should also use your digital and social media pages to promote your business and website.
So, remember to:
- update your website regularly to keep it fresh
- ensure contact details are correct and easy to find
- and keep customers informed.
For more information visit Business Queensland and search 'doing business online'.
- Last reviewed: 17 May 2021
- Last updated: 5 Jan 2022