As American small businesses continue to forge new paths toward the future, it appears that it may depend on more than a few variables. As business owners and entrepreneurs look to get a handle on what needs to be done, Forbes magazine has recently released some intel that may lead the way. Forbes gathered over a dozen small business experts and this is what they see ahead for small businesses for the rest of the year. The following is taken directly from their report:
- An excellent digital footprint and visibility will be a must for the small business next year. As everyone is spending significant time on the internet, having a great digital presence and branding will help when competing for new projects, contracts, partnerships and opportunities.
- Restrictions will still be around, heavily affecting small and medium-sized enterprises. However, they have an advantage over the big corporations: A smaller size means potential for quick shifts of focus, be they in service delivery, marketing or team structuring. The quicker small businesses are able to pivot and adapt during these ongoing turbulent times, the higher their fitness and success will be.
- During the pandemic, every business has faced being forced to digitize, virtualize and dematerialize. There are huge opportunities to help businesses recover from lost revenue and use new technology more effectively with virtual teams.
- Small businesses will continue to battle talent problems in the foreseeable future. The war for talent was only paused during Covid-19, and it has already resumed in most industries. Organizations have a choice: They can build learning and people-development cultures to keep teams engaged long-term, or they can build recruiting empires to address the constant turnover of employees.
- Customer reviews will be key. As people feel the financial pinch caused by this year’s pandemic, they will be looking for ways to save. They might forgo buying the big brand names and look around for alternatives. This opens the door for small businesses to step in. While they might lack the credibility of a big brand, a list of glowing reviews from customers can definitely sway the sale.
- If they aren’t already, small businesses must get into the world of e-commerce. Everything a business offers should have an e-commerce component, and training, onboarding and other aspects of leadership have to be e-commerce ready. As 2020 has proved, you have to be ready to pivot on a dime to survive in an ever-changing landscape, and it starts by getting everyone e-commerce-facing.
-Written by Kevin Sawyer