It is no surprise that small and medium-sized businesses across the globe have suffered due to the global coronavirus pandemic. What is becoming evident, based on research, is that the companies that are surviving and prospering are making a concerted push toward upgrading their digital technologies to survive. This means survival of small business depends on digital.
What the Experts say
2020 Small Business Digital Maturity study
According to a new 2020 Small Business Digital Maturity study from IDC, 70 percent of small businesses are speeding up their push to switch to digital in the face of hurdles coming from the COVID-19 crisis. As it turns out, those companies that have already adopted digital strategies are much better equipped to develop and adapt their structure to succeed in the ever-changing business climate.
The Global State of Small Business Report
While there have been business closures due to the pandemic, the survival of the small business is not all doom and gloom. The Global State of Small Business Report from Facebook, OECD, and World Bank Group found that 26% of small businesses surveyed have closed between January and May of 2020. Of that 26% of businesses to have closed, nearly three-quarters (74%) reported that they expect to reopen. And, it appears that small businesses could actually increase the GDP by as much as $2.3 trillion by 2024! The IDC report examines eight countries during June 2020. The countries in the study are The United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, England, France, and Germany. The study was designed to better explain the hurdles small companies are facing and the relationship between those businesses with digital in place and how quickly they are overcoming obstacles.
The results indicate that there is a divide between those companies already embracing digital and those now racing to catch up. Digital was once an option and potentially ignored as a step to take down the road. But with the state of things, it is now a matter of survival and can no longer be put on the back burner.
The businesses rank on a four-stage digital readiness scale. Only about one-fourth of the companies in the study fell in the top tier. More alarming was the finding that four percent are still in the very beginning stages.
Of the eight countries followed, small businesses in the US, UK, and Germany have made the most improvement in their efforts. Not surprisingly, the small businesses farthest along in their digitizing have the highest rate of recovering. These businesses are better equipped to change and increase revenue based on the ever-changing market demands.
The future of business
Here’s where the benefits of switching to digital come in: If 50 percent of the small businesses in the study could move to the next level of the rankings by 2024, it could mean an increase of 2.3 trillion dollars to the GDP.
COVID-19 has only heightened the fact that digitalization is no longer a choice for small businesses, it’s a necessity. The pandemic has made small businesses more reliant on technology than ever before. But it has opened the eyes of small business owners. Roughly 45 percent of small businesses surveyed anticipate generating over 30 percent of their business digitally by 2021.
The IDC study tells us what we knew about the future of business. Digital is here to stay and ignoring it just puts you at the back of the pack. Those forward-thinking businesses who took steps to keep up with technology and the changing ways of consumers are ahead of the game and much better prepared to move forward and grow their business.
But that doesn’t mean it’s game over for everyone else. It just means that companies need to re-focus their efforts and resources on the survival of their small business and on becoming competitive. The need isn’t new, but the urgency is undeniable. Now is the time to focus on what is and isn’t working. What has always worked in the past is no longer relevant to your company’s growth and endurance.
Reassess your long-term needs
Now is the time to reassess your long-term needs. It can be overwhelming, but you can begin by evaluating your current infrastructure. Re-focusing on your people and their skills is going to be more important than ever. Take a look at how you are supporting your team. Are they able to comfortably work remotely with all the tools they need? Do you find that you have unneeded office space because a good number of your staff is no longer coming into the office regularly? The survival of your small business may depend on your answers.
If you are already thinking through what your next step is, that means you are on the right track. At Carolina Digital Phone, we can help. To learn how you can transition your business to the cloud, contact us at (336) 544-4000. Or chat with us during business hours by clicking the chat icon on the bottom of your screen. We are a local Greensboro, North Carolina-based business with over 100 5-star reviews!