For many businesses this ‘sudden change’ in dynamics (being in lockdown) has left a lot of us in the lurch not knowing what the future holds for our business financially. The biggest fear is the feeling of uncertainty. However, improving your online presence (whatever the business may be) is one way to take control of the current situation to keep your business operating as best it can. As challenging as this time may be, there are many ways that you can adapt what you provide to your customers. To turn it into a positive you might even discover new markets, ways of working and other effective ways of doing business you may have never considered before! Here’s how you can take your business online to survive & thrive during the Coronavirus crisis.
How to teach & tutor online
Image sourced: https://edu.google.com
In the wake of school closures, many parents are looking for support to ensure their children don’t fall behind with their educational needs. If you’re a teacher and want to carry on teaching your students, many schools use Microsoft Systems such as Office 365 or Google Apps like Google Classroom, both of which are free for educational settings and can be downloaded or set up to use quickly and easily. If you’re just doing 1-2-1 tutoring, you might find Google hangouts is the simple way to talk to them and share your screen too. If you’re struggling with inspiration, there are lots of helpful resources available online. Anything from lesson plan ideas to useful online teaching tools. Sites like Teacher Tool Kit have a huge range of resources to help you.
How to become an online personal trainer/ gym instructor
Are you a personal trainer who normally offers one to one or group classes to your clients? To keep your customer base active and regular, you could consider delivering your classes online. There are a few different ways in which you can take your classes online just choose the one that suits both you and your customers best. Here are a few different options…
Live Streaming – A great option if you want to carry on taking the classes on the spot. You can do this on platforms such as Facebook, Youtube and Instagram very easily. You can stick to your usual class times to keep the routine consistent too. By having this new set up you may also be able to reach some new customers by ‘inviting’ people to join on your social media accounts or even through community pages on Facebook.
Video Classes – Another thing you could consider is ‘video classes’. This is a good option if you’d prefer to not do it live and edit out any mistakes! After you’ve made your video, you can upload it to Youtube and set it as private only allowing your customers access to it.
If you do a lot of 1-2-1 sessions, one easy option is just continuing them on ‘Skype’ if they are happy with it.
Zoom – Zoom (shown in the image above) is another really easy way of interacting with your class members. It’s a new remote conferencing service but many fitness, gym and yoga instructors have jumped on the platform too. This app is probably the closest thing you can get to a normal class. It lets studios and instructors re-create some sort of resemblance of a ‘normal’ class. The instructor is at the front and center, which takes up the big box on the video chat screen, and students can then all see each other in the little boxes. Zoom is free to create a basic account which allows you to host up to 100 participants for a meeting for up to 40 minutes. If you’re looking to take sessions longer than this then you will have to pay for a premium membership which is £11.99.
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As cafes are currently forced to close during the lockdown, this has triggered many of them to adapt their services to ensure they are still getting a customer flow but also helping the local community at the same time. In a similar way, if you are a retail store you might want to think about diversifying what you sell in order to stay relevant for the current situation. For example you could sell things that are much more in demand right now. An example ‘Upcountry Country Store and Garden Centre’ in Scaynes Hill has opened a pop up grocery store which offers a wide variety of essential foods like Fruit, Veg, Dairy, and Pasta. You can order your groceries online, and they are offering free deliveries for over 70s.
If you run a cafe or restaurant, you might also want to think about providing meal deliveries for those in isolation, or even essential foods for people to place orders from home by setting up an online contact form. Cafe 72 in Littlehampton for example is now offering freshly cooked meals for home delivery.
You can advertise the new service to the local community on Friday-Ad.
If you run a nursery or creche many of them are setting up virtual meet ups to allow children to stay stimulated and parents to feel less isolated in the light of social distancing measures. You and the nursery teachers can set up fun weekly sessions which could involve things like virtual storytime, nursery rhymes, dancing and games. You could also keep them fit and healthy by hosting a workout such as all doing ‘PE with Joe’ . This is a brilliant example of a great free workout for your kids. To provide support for the parents at your nursery, you can also get the staff to film and post regular videos to your Facebook page with storytime and mini classes as they would at nursery. Appletree Nursery in Somerset are a great example of keeping their Facebook page really active with regular engaging videos and support for the parents. Brooke Farm Nursery have also been filming some engaging online classes for their pupils.