With so much of the focus of small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) today on coping with the effects of COVID-19, we wanted to see how SMB challenges have changed since just before the pandemic. The effect on revenue outlook has been dramatic:
The effect on business challenges has been a mixed bag. Some of the top concerns in February – finding good employees, coping with economic uncertainty, finding new customers, and retaining good employees – remain key challenges. However, several other challenges have actually decreased in importance since February – such as managing costs, complying with government regulations, maintaining data security, coping with competition, staying in business, and product innovation. It’s possible that they have been subsumed by the challenge of coping with COVID-19, which is the biggest overall concern at the moment.
What specifically has the effect of COVID-19 been on SMBs? In short, wide-ranging. One in three have seen demand drop, resulting in employee layoffs, furloughs or shift reductions (in a separate question, three in five respondents said their 2020 revenue will decline because of COVID-19). On the production side, one in five SMBs have struggled to manage remaining demand with the limited availability of employees, contractors and supplies.
The upshot? COVID-19 has impacted SMBs significantly. SMB marketers like you are in a great position to help them survive by providing tips and advice on managing through COVID-19. With 27% of SMBs increasing their content consumption as a result of COVID, it’s a great time to provide advice on, for example, expense and financial management, technology (including ecommerce and online conferencing), security, and productivity.
Need help understanding and/or engaging SMBs?
Bredin can keep you up to date on evolving SMB needs and challenges through quick-turn, actionable market research. We can also help you develop high-value content to boost SMB awareness, brand perception, leads, conversion and revenue.