Faced with challenges Small and medium-sized enterprises It has had a major impact on the world economy over the past year. This is not surprising given that they account for more than two-thirds of the world’s employment and up to half of GDP.
Fortunately for SMEs, public goodwill and loyalty to them are growing. According to Xero’s Future of Small Business report, more than half (52%) of the UK consumers surveyed planned to further support SMEs after the pandemic. In January alone, £ 18.5 billion of household savings have accumulated, and the country is entering a dramatic spending period.
SMEs also have an advantage over companies in that regard customer royalty.More than half (53%) of UK SMEs client Looking for personal interactions and customer acquaintances. This puts them in a stronger position to win the business than their bigger opponents.
This view extends to other parts of Europe and beyond. According to a Mastercard survey, 61% of European shoppers after the closure say they are actively spending money in the local community to help independent stores recover. According to a further study by Xero and Forrester, 69% of consumers worldwide are proud of small businesses in their communities and will experience personal losses if these businesses are closed.
This power comes with responsibility
SMEs need to be able to take this opportunity, where the role of technology is important. Digital adoption is key to helping businesses acquire, sell, and operate online. This will not go away soon.
According to a Deloitte study, technology leaders spent just under 20% of their technology budget on innovation before the pandemic broke out. This must change as the economy recovers as organizations experiment with new markets and new ways of working in rapidly changing situations.
But small businesses need to know that they are not alone. Many software providers are implementing initiatives to help small businesses adapt to the rapidly evolving digital-led world.Fees are exempt Mobile payment For example, it helps to help increase digital transactions, especially in many African countries where mobile payments rely on commerce. Online advertising credits can also be used by companies such as Google for small businesses to offset advertising payments that increase their online customer base.
According to McKinsey, European SMEs Productivity Today, it’s far below that of large European companies, and technology is critical to improving this. However, governments play an important role in creating the right economic and political environment to stimulate growth. In fact, research shows that if 1.1 million UK micro-enterprise double the penetration of major digital technologies, the economy could be boosted by £ 16.6 billion.
The UK Government has recently demonstrated its recognition of the role of technology in recovery by launching a Help To Grow Scheme initiative focused on increasing the use of technology to optimize operations and services.
This is happening elsewhere.Smart Africa-an alliance of 30 countries aiming to establish Africa as a knowledge economy-is new collaboration Between the International Telecommunication Union, the Estonian and German governments and the Digital Impact Alliance. This partnership aims to help resource-poor countries promote digital services without investing heavily in building their own back-end systems.
While existing support clearly plays an important role, governments will eventually need to further support the adoption of the digital tools and skills that SMEs need to thrive. Businesses come in many forms and sizes, with needs ranging from power and hardware basics to specialized software and cloud-based insights. Everything needs to be considered to eliminate the digital divide.
As a result, more collaboration is expected in the coming years between government and private sector to ensure that companies in all countries have access to the right technology-based infrastructure.
There is no doubt that life after COVID-19 will be the same again. But our shared experience last year shows how important technology is in connecting businesses and communities.