It is not hidden that small businesses have been struggling amidst the pandemic and the other prevailing conditions. About 45% of them have reported making no more than half of their pre-COVID revenues.
Lifting the lockdowns doesn’t seem to be solving all their problems too as customer behavior is still fickle. Customers need to start acting as they did before the pandemic to help these companies reach their optimum revenue levels.
But 2021 can be different.
Vaccinations have begun at last, and the global economic scenario is changing. Trends have changed, and businesses have switched their operations online to increase their revenue. However, what is more hopeful is that people are slowly learning to manage their reactions to the pandemic and accepting life the way it now is. Most have started to face the reality, instead of fighting it. The holiday season may not be the way it was in the pre-pandemic times this year, but 75% of customers have switched to online shopping to keep the spirit alive and this has helped.
There are other reasons why small businesses should look at 2021 with more optimism and hope. Let’s discuss the same.
More opportunities online
The lockdown gave rise to some interesting trends in the small business sector. Virtual services have gained momentum, and more people have been turning their passions into professions. Many companies have also learned that they do not require a physical storefront to run their business. The realization has also reduced the costs of running business operations, leading to some good news on the profitability front. In 2021, this trend will grow, and digitization will be common. Even when the pandemic is officially over, customers may not shed their online habits immediately. Hence, small business owners may get better opportunities to kick-start their virtual endeavors without breaking their banks. And yes, insurance will help them stay safe and protected.
Enhanced online security
Increased online activity has also lead to greater cybersecurity threats. Business owners need to be more aware of the online risks and understand how they could protect their operations without compromising the bigger picture. Are you wondering what’s hopeful in this trend? Well, leading technology enterprises are taking in more cybersecurity personnel to improve the online landscape. Thousands of jobs in the cybersecurity field have already been created, and more will be in the future, thus making online businesses more risk-free. It is a revolution in itself, as not all small business owners were aware of the web sphere the way they are now. Malicious software and ransomware have been persistent threats looming over these online businesses, some of which suffered great losses too. However, the pandemic has changed their knowledge levels and focus. Thus, they are more confident about staying safe while increasing their online revenue today.
A surge in workforce availability
The recession has taken many jobs. Some succumbed to uncertain economic conditions and others to changing circumstances. While many of these people have found new jobs already, a large section of the workforce is waiting for better opportunities. By employing these people, one may reduce hiring costs and get access to expert talent like never before. Due to increased unemployment, there’s a fresh cadre of professionals out there looking for different options and willing to indulge their passions. Hence, if you have a small business and are planning to expand your workforce, 2021 may turn out to be the best time for the same.
Insurance awareness and benefits
The pandemic has shaken small business owners to the core. Never did they realize the importance of security so much. But this drove up the awareness of insurance and its value. From business interruption insurance to online business property coverage, the owners are keener to purchase and utilize the insurance options available these days. And the insurers are also giving their best to innovate and create custom options for them. They are expanding their digital operations and adapting to the new risk environment to help these businesses stay secure at all times. Being better-insured increases the protection and being protected directly contributes to the ability of small businesses to take risks and grow.
Technology disruptions in every industry
Just like insurance, technology is also expanding across various industrial sectors to back the digitization boom. While newer and better technologies are disrupting the traditional business landscape, some other technologies, like 3D-printing, AI, and Machine Learning, are adapting to meet the current needs. Small business owners can make the most of these technological advancements to grow their business. Technology can help them unearth new opportunities, build new business lines, become more efficient, and stay safer. They can also pivot from existing businesses with the help of these technologies. Hence, 2021 will give rise to more business opportunities in the startup and small business sphere.
Once the pandemic subsides, demand will increase, and business owners will get more opportunities to expand their reach and even target new markets through online endeavors. Small businesses will become bolder in the knowledge that they are stronger for having survived the worst of times. There’s a real hope that 2021 will be the year of small business.