Unfortunately, we are not yet rid of the concern of COVID-19 and the impact that it has had on business survivability. With “business as usual” requiring a few drastic adjustments to continue, it is important that small businesses are able and willing to embrace these changes. Research conducted by Salesforce presented in their fourth Small & Medium Business Trends Report shows that many businesses are seeing the importance of these changes.
Examining this report, Salesforce included businesses ranging from two employees to two hundred from a variety of industries, in a variety of countries. Crucially, these businesses were differentiated based on whether they had experienced an increase in revenue over one percent (signifying growth) or of less than one percent/a decline in revenue (signifying stagnation or decline).
Let’s take a close look at some of the conclusions that Salesforce came to based on their data collection and aggregation.
Small and Medium-Sized Businesses Can Grow by Making Operations More Flexible
The more flexible a business is in how it can serve its customers, the more they are able to accomplish—despite the limitations that they face today. Therefore, it makes sense to pay attention to how well a business can adapt to the requirements and restrictions that COVID-19 has imparted.
Based on the data Salesforce has collected, many businesses have shown themselves to be quite flexible in their operations. For instance, an average 64 percent of surveyed businesses (61 percent small, 69 percent medium) were focused on implementing the proper safety and sanitation policies, while 59 percent of each had focused on compliance to their area’s masking requirements. Others have implemented contactless services and otherwise promoted social distancing by rearranging workplaces. Naturally, the medium-sized businesses have been in a better position to make these changes, but small businesses haven’t been far behind.
Successful Businesses are the Ones Shifting Their Safety and Interactions
Based on its research, Salesforce has also shown that the businesses most likely to embrace the changes necessary to keep their customers safe are the businesses who are growing—although the other businesses aren’t all that far behind. Communications have become more transparent and accessible through more avenues, like social media, at an increasing rate.
Identifying the Right Technology Isn’t Always the Issue
In fact, it isn’t even in the top three reasons that businesses are finding their operations constrained. To be fair, it is number four, but more prevalent are business concerns over their access to capital, their ability to meet their clients’ expectations, and how to hire the right talent. It also doesn’t help that revenue and demand has all reduced in the face of the pandemic. Far more businesses also identify the limitations placed in the interest of the public health and compliance to public health as detrimental to their businesses.
In Fact, Technology Helps Businesses Succeed
The report also provides various examples of how technology has benefited operations for SMBs during this time—particularly the “S” part. Taking the average:
- 51 percent claimed that technology drove their customer interactions
- 46 percent credited it with enabling their business to remain open
- 42 percent said that technology helped generate the growth of their customer base
- 40 percent saw improved productivity
- 32 percent saw it benefitting collaboration
So, while the coronavirus pandemic certainly hasn’t done any favors for businesses, it has at least provided some evidence that businesses can benefit from implementing IT solutions. To find out more about how your business could directly benefit from these kinds of solutions, reach out to our team! We can help you evaluate your current IT implementation and suggest improvements to improve your operations. Give us a call at (503) 278-5011.