Technology has been a saving grace for small business owners who have had to adjust to working from home and the lack of store-bought customers.
According to a new survey, thirty-one percent of small business owners said that adopting new technologies helped their businesses during COVID-19.
The survey of 1,000 small business owners revealed that for 25% of those surveyed, the pandemic accelerated the adoption of digital tools for their businesses.
While the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on small businesses are far-reaching, the results revealed that owners are cautiously optimistic, likely due in part to their spirit of adaptation.
The survey found that after they can resume their activities as usual, the average respondent believes that the adverse effects of COVID-19 will be negligible within a year.
While 57% of respondents said that COVID-19 had a “somewhat” or “very” negative impact on their small business, 7% reported a positive impact and 36% reported that the pandemic had no impact on their deal.
Commissioned by I mess and conducted by OnePoll, the survey revealed that many respondents were able to evolve during the pandemic by rethinking the way their businesses operate.
Some respondents said they succeeded in allowing their employees to work from home (23%), digitized the way customers pay them (23%) and the way they pay suppliers (19%).
On top of that, 19% of those surveyed increased their online marketing / advertising efforts and 17% revamped their company’s website to keep their business on the rise during the pandemic.
Specifically, 21% increased their digital presence through social media, while 22% started selling products online.
“As a restaurant wine manager, this has been a good time to explore new systems and new ways to generate income,” said sommelier Rania Zayyat.
Unsurprisingly, younger small business owners were more likely to have made many of these changes to keep their business afloat.
Of those aged 26-41, 56% of those surveyed found ways to allow employees to work from home, while only 17% of those over 57 did the same.
Along the same lines, 39% of respondents aged 26-41 digitized the way customers pay them, compared to 12% of older owners.
“If there is one lesson to be learned from the survey, it is that many small businesses have faith in their ability to weather the storm,” said a spokesperson for Melio. “But that’s only true if they learn to think fast and are willing to explore out-of-the-box solutions and the adoption of new technologies.”
WHAT HAVE RESPONDENTS DONE TO KEEP THEIR BUSINESS AFFLOAT?
1. Found ways to allow employees to work from home 23%
2. Digitized the way customers pay them 23%
3. Started selling products online 22%
4. Increased your digital presence on social media by 21%.
5. Digitized the way they pay providers, etc. 19%
6. Increased your advertising / marketing efforts by 19%
7. Revamped the website for your business 17%
8. New digital products offered 14%
9. Gift cards offered or discounts in the future 13%
10. Initial delivery / curb services 12%