Whether your state has a stay-in-place order in effect or not, you may find yourself needing to find new ways to connect with team members, customers, and suppliers. Don’t be afraid to leverage technology to help you stay connected and keep business moving forward.

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Here are three ways to use online tools to help your business during this time and beyond.

  • Tip #1: Host virtual meetings – Whether you are looking to stay connected with your staff, customers, or colleagues, if a face-to-face meeting isn’t an option, a virtual meeting may do the trick. Platforms such as ZoomGoToMeetingGoogle Hangouts,  and AnyMeeting provide options for both audio and video conference calls. You can also leverage other features including screen sharing so you and your audience can view the same documents.

Helpful tip: If your team had regularly scheduled staff meetings, transfer them online. This will help you keep on track and keep team members engaged.

  • Tip #2: Sell products and services online – Even if you don’t have an e-commerce website, you can look into promoting, or even selling, your product through platforms you do currently utilize, such as Facebook. Do you have a service business? Don’t worry. Many service businesses are also finding creative ways to sell online. 

For example: If you have a yoga studio, consider offering an online membership where clients can live stream classes or view a recording on your website. If you are a musician, look into offering concerts or lessons through Facebook Live or other online platforms.

  • Tip #3: Get set up to accept online payments – Many businesses are closing to the public so accepting cash or in-person payments is no longer an option. Consider setting up a PayPal Business or Square Payments account to allow you to send invoices, process payments, and even accept payments through your website.

If you are interested in setting up an e-commerce website, Square is currently allowing customers to create sites for free. Other popular e-commerce site builder options include ShopifyWix, and Squarespace.

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CEF’s advisors provide helpful suggestions of an educational nature that are not intended to mandate or supersede the business practices or decisions of your Company, its owners or managers. The information provided in this guide does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available herein are for general informational purposes only. You should contact your attorney to understand your rights and for legal advice about your specific situation.

This information was created in partnership with  Northern Initiatives and participating entities through Initiate Prosperity. Check out the full library of small business resources on the Initiate Prosperity: Powered by CEF site.

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