During the COVID Pandemic of 2020/2021 most governments have initiated lockdowns and restricted the type of businesses that can open to the public in order to control person-to-person transmission of the virus. For business with only a bricks and mortar presence this has been a dangerous financial time and dramatically separated them from those business who have an online presence, and who can continue to do business.
The restrictions have led to complaints, arrests, and fines, some highly punitive for those who ignore or try to subvert enforcement of restrictions.
When restrictions have been temporarily lifted, behavioural changes such as face coverings, social distancing, and the unwillingness of people to enter stores and engage in close quarters buying has been evident as has the cost of sanitizing store facilities and providing staff with PPE. In person shopping will not return immediately, even after vaccination because people have learned new ways of achieving what they need. Why shop for groceries in person when you can use the stores online marketplace and have them delivered.
Small businesses without an online presence will be constrained for years to come because we have all experienced the New Normal, long enough for it to become ingrained. Now is the time to address the need for an online presence, not just for Small Business, but for all who want to have something more in their lives than they have had up until now.This overview is intended as a simple, quick, primer to many, but not all of the factors affecting your first steps to develop your online presence.