So many companies across the UK have felt the negative effects of Covid-19 but none more than small businesses. According to Government statistics, small businesses (those with 0-49 employees) accounted for 99.3% of the total UK business population in 2019. They also provide roughly three fifths of the employment and half of the turnover in the UK private sector. These companies are the life force of our little island. They have shown great resilience in face of the devastating circumstances we currently live in.
So, how have small businesses adapted to survive during the worldwide pandemic?
For many companies, the product or service they offered is no longer in high demand or not feasible to offer in its current form. This has meant that in order to survive, small businesses have had to completely adapt their business models. Some companies have managed to achieve this seamlessly. They have done so by accessing supply and demand, investing in research & development, expanding their customer niche and adapting to an online existence.
Since Covid-19 has forced most of us to remain inside our houses, foot traffic at many independent stores has fallen significantly. Some businesses, such as cafes, have managed to remain open to offer take away options. However, many small businesses have had to adapt to offer their product or services online. In a lot of cases this has involved creating or re-designing their website to offer this functionality. Luckily there are a lot of fantastic Web Developers out there to help, including us!
One of the most popular ways that small businesses have maintained their customer base has been to offer a delivery service. Now that their clients can’t come to them, they have pivoted to ensure they can bring their product or service directly to their customers. This has been most popular with restaurants and retail, though there are of course exceptions. Since these companies no longer have as much opportunity for customer interaction, deliveries offer a chance to include a more personal touch. Beautiful packaging and a personalised thank you note go a long way in increasing purchase satisfaction.
The covid-19 pandemic has caused many people to completely re-assess and change their habits. This has left space for small businesses to create new products and services to help facilitate this change. A common way we have seen this occur is companies beginning to offer products focussed on personal hygiene and cleanliness.
Unfortunately, just having a beautiful website is not enough to ensure a company will survive. It is only one of many online tools available to help small businesses. Companies have also had to increase other aspects of their online presence in order to reach new and existing customers. This has involved companies having a larger focus on online networking, adverts and social media. For small businesses who offer a physical product, this has been a fantastic opportunity to make use of the digital shop function on Facebook and Instagram.
As customers, it is our responsibility to be proactive in ensuring the survival of small businesses. The next time you are looking to make a purchase, consider shopping local to help out!