Small to Medium-sized businesses (SMB) often operate on the thinnest of margins, even during normal times, and over the last eighteen months the global health crisis of COVID-19 has render the business landscape far from normal. Many SMB are feeling increased pressure in its aftermath.
A recent study, however, indicated that there were some positives for SMB over the last year, and that there are several trends that are cause for optimism, with 43% of interviewed businesses reporting increases in revenue in 2020 over 2019, and only 20% reporting decreased revenues. This better-than-expected result has led to many SMBs looking forward to 2021, which these trends indicate.
1. The Digital Drive Continues
A 2020 survey by Baker Mckenzie indicated that 58% of the surveyed businesses that had not previously started a digital transformation were pushed toward starting the process by COVID-19 and its effects, replacing legacy, monolithic systems with agile, modern ERP solutions.
These modern ERP solutions automate and digitize previously manual processes and enable businesses to operate more efficiently, quickly, and cost-effectively over a number of areas.
In the aftermath of the pandemic many companies are turning towards these cloud-based, technology driven solutions to help combat the lingering effects on their staff and customers, allowing for work to be done anywhere, from any device.
2. Remote Working Remains Preferred Option
Many companies of all sizes were forced to quickly implement remote-work capability in the early days of the pandemic. SMBs in particular were hit hard, as they often lacked the infrastructure needed to accommodate this on such a large scale.
Those companies which were operating with a modern ERP solution, or who switched over to one in the response to the pandemic, had a leg up in this regard. Over 95% of surveyed employees indicated that they preferred remote work capability, so the need for user-friendly, mobile access to vital work processes is not going anywhere.
3. eCommerce Continues to Climb
With more people staying home it is only natural that digital sales spiked in 2020, surpassing 4.2 trillion USD for the year.
Many SMBs who were eager to capitalize on this boom found out the hard way that it is not as simple as adding a “Buy here” link to their website. An integrated eCommerce option within the ERP solution is the preferred option for SMB to truly make the most of this trend, which has no signs of slowing down.
By integrating eCommerce with ERP SMBs not only enhance the likelihood of increasing revenue, but also enhance the user experience of their customers as the process is streamlined and intuitive.
Prepare for an Uncertain Future
No one could have predicted the COVID pandemic and the seismic shifts that the entire world fell victim to in light of it. All any business can do is prepare for as many eventualities as possible.
SMBs, operating on such tight margins, have to be smart in their attempts to “future proof” their organizations. By choosing a modern, agile ERP solution they offer themselves the best chance to succeed not only in the short term, but in the uncharted waters of the long term.