The pandemic is having a catastrophic impact on the US small business sector. According to the US Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, small businesses make up 99.9% of the time ALL Company in the USA.
Think about it, small businesses are a major revenue generator and a major source of employment. According to the same agency, small businesses account for 44 to 50% of the country’s economic activity. They also employ around 47% of the workforce.
With around half of the economy and employment dependent on the success of small businesses, the loss of happiness due to the pandemic and its ongoing aftermath has hit them hard.
Small business, mom and pop stores are an integral part of American life and economy.
But all is not lost. Slowly but surely, small businesses across the country have shown that they are back on the road to recovery. Mind you, growth and sales for most are nowhere near pre-pandemic levels. But we get there. One day at a time.
The recovery is uneven
Not all companies and sectors are recovering at the same rate. For the obvious reasons, companies serving a large group of people at the same time have suffered the biggest blow. Think of theaters, restaurants, bars, gyms, salons, hotels, among other things.
But there are other industries that not only survived the pandemic, but were also able to increase their revenues. These industries are less affected by social distancing and security protocol requirements.
Now that the lockdown and security measures to prevent the spread of Covid 19 need to be implemented, companies that rely on being close to people can no longer operate at their original capacity.
It is not possible for these businesses to function as they did before the pandemic broke out. With security precautions come the added cost of deploying and enforcing security rules.
For this reason, there has been a constant decline in sales in many industries over the past few months.
Source: US Census Bureau
Remote work is likely to continue for small businesses as well
Even if we can work in a physical office environment again at some point, it will no longer be the same as before. Remote work will remain an important part of the way we work in the future. Full-time office work will never come back.
In fact, 57% of small business owners believe remote work will continue and they themselves will have this option in their business.
Hiring remote workers is a real boon for small businesses in times like these. When small businesses hire remote workers:
- You can increase your productivity
- You can hire talent from a larger pool
- You reduce your operating, administrative and overhead costs
- You can offer your employees a better work-life balance
And when they rent from a hire Remote Employee Marketplace, it works out even better for you. They can choose to have a broad global talent working for them rather than limit yourself to talent in the city where they are headquartered.
It also comes with a lower cost – because you no longer have to spend on candidate search, screening, training, etc. It’s already done for them. This makes small businesses in the US more efficient as they can now focus more on growth.
What does the future hold in store?
Granted, there are small businesses that close because they can no longer feed themselves and be profitable. But small businesses are still the future of the country. They have shown resilience through these troubled times and many of them are recovering.
The biggest winners were those who could adapt to the sudden and rapid changes. Small businesses in the US that are changing are the ones that are also growing steadily.
The focus on online growth and an improved customer experience was one of the drivers for some small businesses. Digitization is not only important, it is now also essential for many small companies to survive.
Without a digital component in their business, small businesses cannot hope to continue growing using traditional methods and channels alone.
One important point, however, is that the charm of small businesses lies in the human touch they put in selling their products and services. It is therefore important that exceptional customer service is built into the way small businesses work.
Adopting online and digital practices is great for business, but not without great customer service. In fact, it becomes even more important in such a case.
Small businesses are at the heart of the American economy and value system. Your success is the nation’s success too. It will be interesting to see what transformations small businesses in the US will go through in the months and years to come.