Will current small business challenges be overcome?

As American small businesses continue to struggle and battle their way back from many devastating roadblocks, it is heartening to see that the American entrepreneurial spirit has remained intact. The economy had been roaring along with opportunities everywhere until it was suddenly stopped and local politicians began to decide how things were going to go. It will all be over soon, but until then, West Monroe Partners went out and asked one hundred and fifty C-level executives and business owners how they are adapting and what they see as their biggest challenges for coming through the current crisis. The following is taken directly from their published survey:

  • This crisis will have a deeper, longer impact on the economy than originally expected. The biggest long-term impacts: more localized supply chains and an increased agility and speed of business. Concerns are shifting away from disruption and unpredictability and toward survival—both short- and long-term—including burning through cash. One third expect their company’s operations to stabilize sometime in Q3 this year. But 26% don’t expect stability until 2021—or beyond.

What is the primary thing your organization is doing right now 

to change its business model or strategically pivot?

33% Set up significantly new digital/e-commerce capabilities

20% Take on new financing to survive (stimulus, loans, bankruptcy, etc.)

13% Having to lay off or furlough employees Shift product/service portfolio by 50% or more.
9% Take on new affiliates/partners.
Of the following, what is your primary concern?
21% Burning through cash reserves.
21% The unpredictable behavior of partners, employees, and clients in this environment.
15% Having to lay off or furlough employees.
15% Supply chain disruption.
11% My organization’s long-term survival (6 months+)

Remote working has reached a tipping point: The top priority for more than one third is managing a remote workforce (ahead of  cutting expenses). And 42% said the crisis will fundamentally alter their organization’s approach to remote working in the long term.

The speed at which this crisis emerged has created an extreme level of uncertainty.

The most common primary concern in the C suite? The unpredictable behavior of partners, employees, and clients in this environment.

-Written by Kevin Sawyer