SMEs invest to adapt and survive

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Date: 22 September 2020

Man packing his product in the box while his business partner prepares the invoice

Despite the financial pressures caused by COVID-19, more than three-quarters of small business owners have invested additional budget into their businesses this year.

New research from website building platform Zyro suggests that 77% of small business owners have invested in their businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, focusing mainly on ecommerce, websites, marketing and online advertising.

The findings suggest that:

  • 61% of small business owners have increased spending on their websites and online stores;
  • 20% have launched new marketing campaigns and promotions;
  • 15% have increased their online advertising spend.

Gytis Labašauskas, cmo at Zyro, said "The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on businesses all over the world - especially those without a digital presence. In the face of this adversity, it's great to see so many SMEs recognising the importance of these digital channels and acting quickly to adapt their business models … we expect this migration towards digital channels to continue long after the pandemic."

Meanwhile, Hitachi Capital Business Finance has found that 81% of small business owners surveyed have made key changes to their business and services in order to prepare for the economic uncertainty in the months ahead.

Its poll of 1,447 SMEs has found that 27% of respondents said they were now spending more time talking to their existing clients through online platforms, with 25% saying they were looking to sell more goods and services through online channels. In addition, 21% of respondents said they were investing more in digital marketing to reach new audiences.

Other key steps being taken by SMEs include:

  • Introducing new competitive pricing and offers (19%);
  • Simplifying product lines and focusing on core strengths (17%);
  • Reinventing services to cater to customer needs (16%);
  • Offering new premium services (15%);
  • Picking up business from big brands (13%);
  • Increasing work in overseas markets (12%).

Joanna Morris, head of marketing and insight at Hitachi Capital Business Finance, said: "The majority of bosses have been forced to change many aspects of their business in order to stay afloat. What is striking from our research is the variance of approaches taken by quite different small businesses. They are drawn to the agility of the tech age, but it is noteworthy that the most traditional of enterprises are adapting too - just in a different way."

Written by Rachel Miller.

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