COVID-19 is still a factor that businesses need to consider, especially in terms of their continued operations. With major adjustments required to stay open, many small and medium-sized businesses will need to accept the situation their business is in and implement changes. Fortunately, research that Salesforce summarized in their fourth Small & Medium Business Trends Report suggests that this is happening.
To compile this report, Salesforce examined businesses with anywhere from two employees to two hundred from a varied pool of industries, located in various countries. Going deeper, Salesforce was sure to split their participants into two subdivisions: those who had grown (as demonstrated by a revenue increase of over one percent) and those who had remained stagnant or declined (demonstrated by a growth of less than one percent or an overall decline).
Let’s peek at a few conclusions that Salesforce identified through this report.
One: SMBs Can Grow by Operating with More Flexibility
Or in other words, the more avenues a business has to serve its customers, the more they can do so. As such, it makes sense to consider how flexible a business can be to COVID-19’s restrictions and requirements.
Salesforce data revealed that more businesses were flexible than weren’t. For example, 61 percent of small businesses and 69 percent of medium-sized businesses were able to focus on adopting safety and sanitation policies, totaling 64 percent of all businesses surveyed. An average of 59 percent had focused on masking requirements for their area as well, with others adding contactless services and rearranging workplaces to accommodate for social distancing.
While medium-sized businesses have been in a better position to implement many of these changes, it is important to note that small businesses haven’t been far behind.
Two: Businesses Making These Changes are the Ones Seeing Success
Salesforce’s research also revealed a direct correlation: the businesses experiencing growth were the ones that had embraced these changes. To be fair, other businesses aren’t too terribly far behind them.
Businesses have also made some changes to their communication habits. Increasingly, these communications are becoming more accessible and transparent thanks to things like social media.
Identifying the Right Technology to Use Isn’t the Problem
When listing the reasons that businesses are experiencing constrained operations, not knowing what technology to use ranked as the fourth most common reason. More businesses shared concerns over their access to capital, how they would meet their clients’ expectations of them, and how to find the right talent. Another major concern was balancing their own business needs against the limitations that public health regulations are currently placing on their operations.
Technology is Tied to Business Success
Finally, this report also outlined multiple examples of how SMB operations have seen benefits through investing in technology solutions—particularly the small businesses. Their results, averaged together, came to:
- 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
Clearly, the pandemic has done no favors for businesses, but technology certainly has during that time. Just think about what it could contribute after the fact.
TechNet Task Group can help you implement these kinds of IT solutions for your own business and its benefit. We’ll evaluate your current use of technology and design improvements to boost your operations. To learn more, give us a call at (716) 685-1181 today.