A useful guide

How Singapore’s small businesses can use a website to manage pandemic impact

Web design  |  4 min read

Singapore’s small companies need a website to work harder for them than ever as they cope with a pandemic response. Businesses of all sizes are facing worker shortages. The impact of the pandemic on employees and their families is a chance for business owners to respond by using websites to manage – and gain advantages – despite labour and staffing issues.

Thanks to scalable website tools that enable greater productivity and communication, nimble companies continue to sustain and grow.

Illustration depicting how a small business uses a website

Give your website a job

Let your people do more while web services automate routine work

A website is your 24/7 resource that portrays your company to clients and prospects as you prefer, by telling your story and sharing your expertise online.

It’s a tool to communicate company updates or changes in working hours, products or service options, or new adaptations (such as restaurants that switched to takeaway only or different menu items). In Singapore, especially, responding quickly to government health and travel policies helps companies adapt using their website to easily share updates.

Like any tool, it needs to be kept sharp and available – and this requires quality website design.

Promote your company while you sleep

Save the costs of printing, mail campaigns, or answering phone calls by using your website as a brochure that highlights client endorsements, a list of your services and products, and the most convenient way to contact you, day or night.

Share news about new offerings or additional services that may simplify your customer’s lives as they also navigate through pandemic and work/school schedule changes. How can you serve them better when they need help?

A website can manage service requests and order entry and more, freeing up your workers to do creative, important tasks. Self-serve options also make it easy for people to do business with you.

If you wish to embark on internet marketing, which can be less expensive and faster than traditional methods, to increase revenue, a website is required.

Build your company’s website into a business ecosystem

Speed up your company’s response time to inquiries with texting, chatbot, or data integration that makes your website a resource for customers, suppliers, or partners.

Even internal operations can accelerate with a website that lets employees manage client work online, securely, and safely. What information can you share with partners or customers – inventory availability, emergency services after-hours, special bulk purchase pricing?

Faster, smarter decisions with integrated data across your small business rely on a website as a hub where both internal and external parties can exchange information.

What types of business need a website most?

Website is important to all kinds of companies in Singapore because it helps the business get “seen” via search and social media channels, and establish a strong online presence. Generate new sales leads by asking for contact information of potential customers or connect with existing customers to reward return visitors.

Local retailers especially depend on geography and nearby customers. Increasingly, however, “webrooming” with shopping online means people browse more but make fewer purchases at physical stores than they used to. So, every business has to find a way to capitalise on “virtual” trade – no longer solely relying on walk-in clients.

That’s one reason why getting found in the top results on Google and other search engines is crucial. Without a website, if you can’t be found online, people may be sceptical about your business and its credibility.

What else can a website do for your business?

Here’s a short list of what your website could be doing right now:

  • Scheduling by sharing your calendar and letting visitors make their own convenient appointments.
  • Accepting new orders and showing real-time inventory and estimated delivery time.
  • Sharing reviews from satisfied clients to bolster your reputation for excellence.
  • Asking visitors for their preferences on your products and services via a survey form.
  • Answering questions frequently asked by consumers of your products and services.

Some companies use their website to test new products and services, such as discounts for loyal customers, delivery services, or seasonal items.

You may need the help of a proficient web design and development company to incorporate some of these features into your website.

How to be sure your website is working

It’s important for small companies to get maximum value from the investment in a professional website. Set targets for new clients, additional income, or key metrics that prove your business is getting results. Create a manageable schedule for daily, monthly, and quarterly analytics reporting to show both trend patterns and wins or losses that can be connected to activity on the site.

Consider what you want the website to achieve for the business. Your goal may be increasing sales or speeding up orders or getting more repeat customers. Then, measure both performance and tactics that support both short-term and long-term goals. Over time, you will see what works – and other ideas that do not convert – and actions that connect to your website.

Key takeaways
  • Singapore’s SMEs can benefit from having a multi-functional website that helps their business thrive through uncertain times.
  • Website and cloud-based services are mature, reliable, and diverse.
  • Social media is no substitute for a professional website that reflects your company and brand.
  • Changing business conditions require that websites deliver value and help you to respond to the specific situation in Singapore, from labour constraints to an ageing, urban population.
David Wallace
David Wallace

Content strategy & creation

Contributed to Wired, Reuters, The New York Times and Philadelphia Inquirer as reporter/editor for 15 years. Adjunct news reporting instructor at Emerson College, then Boston University in US.

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