There has been no uplifting news coming our way over the past few weeks, and I don’t think there is any on the way soon. I’m therefore in the hunt to find some positive lights to share with SMEs as I put together this month’s article.
It has taken many of us a couple of weeks to settle into a new way of working, but after a while we start thinking how to make most of the current situation to survive and hopefully also to thrive, emerging from this crisis with confidence about the future. We’ve adapted to working from home and letting our employees do the same, we’ve embraced virtual meetings and virtual collaboration, thanks to the power and flexibility of technology.
There is no doubt that some industries such as Travel and Tourism are suffering from a decline in demand for their services as flights get cancelled and people stop travelling. But it’s also true that some others such as Retail and FMCG are still generating a healthy amount of revenue due to consumers changing behaviour across the world – 55% of Chinese and 31% of Italians said they’re using online shopping to buy products that they would normally buy in-store.
Those with business models that sell products or services online (or possess the potential to do so), have a huge opportunity here, with their audiences stuck at home, browsing the web, looking for something to engage and entertain them. You simply need to have a strong online presence, and to tailor your message and services in order to adapt to the changing market. And, digital advertising has the power to capture the demand and drive traffic to your online shop.
The potential growth is not only for big players such as the Zoom video communication platform, which has seen an increase in its market share in recent months. Any size of business can benefit from new opportunities with a willingness to adapt to the new norm. It will be unlikely for brands that assist consumers today to be forgotten in the future. A good example of this is Lola’s, a bakery based in north London, that until recently positioned itself as London’s most delicious cupcakes and cakes shop. Today, some Londoners know them as an excellent outlet for fresh food when the usual online sources are struggling to maintain their service and their website.
The list of small to medium sized businesses that have carved out new opportunities goes on and on, from private tutors generating money by offering busy parents help with kids home-schooling, to a local yoga studio that is now keeping their members active and satisfied by launching online yoga classes. After all, we must maintain those resilience muscles that were strengthened during easier times.