While the Covid-19 pandemic has inflicted significant losses on a large section of businesses and institutions, small business owners have learned some concrete lessons of survival and new collaborative models as well as how to leverage the adverse conditions to their own benefit.After encountering an unanticipated lockdown, they now know the importance of inculcating great team spirit and building trauma management capabilities so that they can tackle a crisis by depending on their inherent strength, resilience and resolve.
Furthermore, many SMEs have discovered that digital technologies and innovations can empower and enable them to continue with their operations even during lockdowns or other difficult circumstances by facilitating digital marketing and online trading. They have also learned that by making use of the right digital tools, their staff can work from home or any other remote location and also enhance productivity while cutting down costs.
Some SME promoters have also understood that they need to be more proactive or respond faster as businesses that can think and act with speed have better chances of survival. They have also realized the importance and advantages of having their company website, social media presence, as well as good quality internet connections. They are now able to understand the demerits of very low levels of innovation and digital adoption as well as skill shortages. Meanwhile, some have started appreciating the need to incorporate health and safety concerns into their investment decisions.
Finally, some SME proprietors have learned to take a much more realistic look at their venture’s future prospects and how to tighten their belts so that they can surmount the worst-case scenario. They have also identified and corrected areas that had weak links during good times. Many SME owners and employees believe that teleworking, as well as lesser face-to-face contact with their customers and other stakeholders, will continue for a long time to come. Some SMEs have even started to rethink their business models and strategies, while others are reviewing their supply chain.