We are all aware that right now we are in the midst of a public health crisis and a time of economic uncertainty. Since the lockdown restrictions came in place in countries across the world that small and medium business’ have taken a hit but now from the State of Small Business Report, by Facebook and Small Business Roundtable, we have a better idea of how big that hit is.
This new report released on May 18th is based on a survey of 86,000 owners, managers and workers across the US with less than 500 employees and what we can see is that of all the sectors impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, SMBs look set to be among the hardest hit. While this report is based on a US focus, these figures are going to be quite similar on a global scale.
SME’s generally operate of tight margins and right now these are only getting tighter as we all know therefore your return on investment is more important than ever before as unless companies can recoup their cost there will be a knock on effect on local/national economy, employment and profitability.
So how are these business’ dealing with the impact of the pandemic?
The Facebook Report
The freshly published report from Facebook sheds some light on the situation by incorporating these 86,000 people to provide a range of insights into the current SME sentimement while highlighting areas of opportunity moving forward. So lets look at some of the key takeaways:
Firstly, The Facebook Report highlights the scale of which business has been affected by the lockdowns since Covid-19, looking at the percentage of SME’s in each sector that have been unable to operate:
Sure many business have been able to change how they operate, whether that’s working from home or doubling down on their online efforts and delivery services. Luckily with a good website, leveraging social advertising and using best practice SEO tips, companies with the right resources can still find opportunities to succeed in these uncertain times.
“According to the survey, 31% of small and medium-sized businesses have shut down [entirely] in the last three months. The situation is worse for personal business (52% of which report shutting down), hotels, cafes and restaurants (43%) and services like wellness, grooming, fitness or other professional services (41%).”
With business’ across all sectors affected by the long-term closures the next main question to consider is how many of these business expect to recover and how can they do it once restrictions are lifted. We know that at this moment in time that’s a difficult question to answer and the longer closures remain in place the harder this gets to answer. Luckily, with restrictions in Ireland beginning to lift, certain businesses starting to reopen and the range of opportunities that are available online, we can make our new normal work for us.
Reasons for Optimism
With our experience in the digital sector we are here to help lead companies in their online journey, to see the opportunities change presents while showing the potential for increased reliance on a digital connection with customers and shifting the business model inline with the future of online business.
Just look at this graph that shows how we are seeing eCommerce account for more and more retail sales year over year. A trend which is only speeding up in the current climate.