There’s no denying that how people run their businesses has changed more in the last year than in the last decade. Working from home, continuous Zoom meetings, constant mask wearing, and sanitising – and many businesses being forced to close their doors, some permanently. But, looking back at the past 12 months, what did we learn from 2020? And furthermore, are the lessons and protocols we put in place still relevant in 2021?
Working remotely has mixed benefits
While asking to ‘work from home’ may have been a faux pas in years gone by, it’s essentially a direct order in 2021. However, it seems to have had both good and negative effects on business across SA. While many employers were initially frightened their staff would skive off if they weren’t at their normal desks, it’s been found that with fewer colleague interruptions during the day and no travel time, in some cases work output has increased. But in other cases these interruptions have been replaced with online meeting fatigue (from 07:00 to 19:00 – with one merging into the next), stresses around juggling kids, schooling, load shedding (South Africa), internet connectivity issues and isolation, sometimes leading to clinical depression.
While it’s highly unlikely things will go back to pre-Covid days, some major South African companies are rightly or wrongly permanently closing large amounts of office space. In South Africa, with high levels of inequality, expecting people to work from a home office can be another form of discrimination – not everyone has dedicated space or infrastructure at home to be able to work comfortably or effectively.
Companies have had to relook at how they do things, with many now looking at the New Zealand model of working fewer days per week or incorporating Fridays into the weekend.
E-commerce and innovations
While the pandemic did catch most businesses off-guard, it has accelerated the shift to prioritising e-commerce within businesses. Not only is it more convenient for the customers and business supplying the goods, but has the potential to be much more lucrative in countries like South Africa where many more people are developing the habit of online buying for the first time.
For industries such as the hospitality and events sector, innovation was the key, with many quickly devising different ways to reach their clients. It was also a year for entrepreneurial spirit – thinking about solutions people needed and making them happen.
The year of online meetings and get-togethers
While most people may have dabbled with video calls, no one really knew the unofficial etiquette of such communication. Knowing when to talk, when to mute audio or video, how to conclude virtual meetings, and many other situations have become commonplace. What this will result in is more organised and professional virtual meetings, rather than time-wasting and miscommunication. which is a positive in the long run. Cat filters are not recommended, despite them being hilarious.
While finances and budget should be top of mind, if you’ve been thinking about launching a digital business or online store, it is a promising opportunity to do so. There are a lot more users now embarking into the world of online shopping and searching for new businesses and products to satisfy demand; which means new eyes and new customers. So, whether you want to launch that online t-shirt store, or sell your home-baked cookies, this is the right time to do so! But, where do you start?
Building your online store
When selecting your platform of choice to build your online store on, there’s a lot of names and confusing systems thrown around, which can often deter you more than anything. Using Digitise, South Africa’s very-own drag-and-drop web builder, CRM system, and marketing tool (which is delivered all in one package), you can create your own online store with ease.
Fleshed out with the ability to add tons of products, beautifully designed checkout processes, and full payment options, Digitise makes the daunting, complex, and often expensive task of setting up an online store an absolute breeze.
How much does it cost?
The team behind Digitise is aware that start-ups need flexibility, so when it comes to costs, there are no contracts or long-term commitments; and there are flexible pricing packages so that you can find the best option for you and your business.
The benefit of using the Digitise platform is that from the front-end of the webpage to the CRM and marketing tools in the background, your entire online toolbox is with the same provider, making the transition in the digital space a hassle-free one rather than a painstaking process of vendor selection and hunting down the right service providers.
Why not sign-up and get cracking on your business now? Check out Digitise here.