How Small Businesses Are Navigating the Challenging Economic Market

By Adriaan Brits Thursday, August 20, 2020

A recent survey conducted by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) has revealed that around 75% of small business owners agree that if there is another global pandemic, they’ll be better prepared. With this, over 50% of surveyed business owners shared that they feel positive about a strong recovery in the coming months, as some states have started to ease imposed lockdown restrictions. 

Additionally, SHRM notes that some businesses claim to be back on track with earlier figures, and have shared prospects of profitability in six months or less.

The Good News

However, there is good news from this economic crisis: there is a great driver for innovation harbored within thousands of business owners. These businesses have already started to change their trade and operations, ensuring they can remain compliant with strict social distancing measures, safe and healthy customer environments, and ensure the safety of their staff.

New products and services will surely become the driving force behind thousands of small businesses, as many entrepreneurs and young business owners are looking for new ways to adapt to the rapidly changing economic market. The pandemic has opened new ways to look and understand buyer trends, but it doesn’t go without saying that in the coming months, some small-medium businesses will see a shift in their buyer interests and needs.

Changing Business Models and Policies

Some small businesses had to find innovative ways to remain relevant during and after imposed lockdown restrictions. A cookie company in New Jersey, Partake Foods, quickly changed its business model to adjust to the economic unbalance. Ultimately, it led Denise Woodard, the founder of Partake Foods, to combine her product with the digital age and partnering with minority- and women-owned brands on a “Spot Us at Target” campaign. Furthermore, Woodard collaborated with The Blackbird Collective on Instagram Live and Facebook Live events to promote her products.

But new ways to attract customers and changing business models are only a tip of what some small business owners have in mind. Around three-fourths of small businesses have shared the exciting news of changing and modifying their business policies. This comes after many business owners have seen the need for better employee childcare needs, better flexible hours, or a compressed schedule. Over 31% will consider offering employees full-time remote work.

These changes to their policies can easily be implemented, as small-medium businesses have fewer employees and small locations to manage and operate. The betterment of employees will also see a change in the coming months, and this will play off on the long-term effects’ employees can have on the success of any business during its recovery stages.

The Bad News

Although many small business owners are optimistic about their slow recovery, it isn’t without much stress and worries. The same survey also showed that 53% of owners feel somewhat concerned about reopening their doors in the coming months. On this end of the spectrum, it’s shown that many business owners are very concerned about the risk of lawsuits and liability one reopened.

The Future of Small Businesses

Although some may feel reluctant that reopening will only offer more hassles and obstacles, the true character of many businesses has been revealed over the last few months. It’s a sad sight for any individual and business owner to see their little empire coming to a close after a short life, but those who have triumphantly pivoted through the economic crisis can have an optimistic outlook on the future.

Yes, there are those businesses that have made it through challenging times without much help and effort from the community, but the efforts and ongoing support from communities and neighborhoods have seen some businesses doing better than pre-crisis times. The current situation has also shed more light on the value small businesses can hold in any community. This can be based on the local products and affordable services it provides to its customers.

We can only hope that the coming months will result in more positive turnarounds for many small businesses as they slowly make a recovery to normality. During this, small businesses have now seen the true value of community support, and their active civic duty they offer to hundreds of people.

About the Author


Headshot for author Adriaan Brits
As an analyst of global affairs, Adriaan has an MSC from Oxford, with diverse interests in the digital economy, entertainment, and business. He is a specialist trainer in Advanced Analytics & Media.

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