Since the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across the globe have continued to be ravaged especially because of guidelines like lockdowns that are intended to curtail the spread of the virus. Due to reduced/restricted movements, economic activities around the world have stalled and therefore many SMEs have had to significantly scale down operations or close shop altogether. Business owners world over have been challenged to learn how to continue business operations beyond the brick and mortar settings with the most common approach being to shift to virtual business operations by using new digital tools to keep in touch with their employees and connect with new customers.
Nevertheless, the increased use of digital platforms and fintech to run business operations has heightened the risk of cyber attacks on SMEs hence making business operations post the COVID 19 pandemic extremely challenging. Research shows that 73% of small businesses lack the capability and expertise to withstand a cybersecurity attack. To that end, enterprise owners have to brace themselves to withstand the uncertainties that come with depending on digital infrastructure to run business operations.
Here are some ideas on what SMEs can do to facilitate survival in the pandemic world;
- Make E-commerce an essential part of business operations.
Since the 2020 global lockdown, traditional shopping became difficult, and maybe even scary, so people became increasingly inclined to shop online. That means on top of the usual brick-and-mortar setting, every business now ought to embrace e-commerce as a key component of their operations. Our site builder tool is the best option for all your e-commerce needs.
- Allocate human and financial resources to cater to cybersecurity as a priority aspect of the enterprise hence preventing cyber-attacks and ensuring business continuity. A dedicated cyber security expert will ensure that security protocols are implemented in your IT infrastructure, this way your company’s data is safe and the privacy of your users is protected.
- Since the pandemic has also contributed to a great change in consumer behavior, companies need to widen their product ranges, invest in logistics and supply chains to ensure resilience in a crisis.
- Use External Support.
External support is important for SMEs because it provides them with the knowledge needed to develop and implement innovations. For example, as a company, you can reach out to your local legislators to know what resources are available to help you recover from the effects of the crisis.
- Engage on social media.
Besides being a place for keeping up with family and friends, social media has become a lifeline between businesses and their customers. Now that digital platforms have become a very important component of life, businesses must go beyond just posting creative content on their social Medan platforms, they must interact with followers. This can build and render strong online relationships with its customers.
- Optimize business spending
A specific example of how business owners may better optimize their business during the pandemic is switching from print ads to digital ones. Investing in digital marketing can give businesses an opportunity to dramatically reduce the cost of their monthly marketing expenses, while also providing more targeted and precise reach to their ideal buyers.
- Up-skill your staff
Wherever possible, try your best to keep your staff– they rely on you, and if you have managed a good team, they should be supporting you. You could train your existing staff on additional skills, which could make them more productive and efficient, rather than hiring more staff.
- Establish an effective communication rhythm with your staff.
Take a morning virtual huddle with your team where you celebrate their successes from the day before, track your key numbers, identify each member’s priorities for the day, and flag areas where people are stuck and require support. This should take no more than 15 minutes every day.
In conclusion, while the pandemic came with a lot of economic uncertainities, new technologies such as Fintech have been at the forefront of ensuring business sustainability so as a business owner you need only to integrate these new technologies into your business operations so your SME can still thrive.