by Erin Hatfield
Limited cash flow, dwindling demand, overwhelming overhead costs, layoffs, and closures. The impact of COVID-19 has reverberated throughout small businesses worldwide. In a recent report, 72 percent of small business owners say the pandemic is likely to permanently change the way they run their businesses.
If you’re a small business, the decisions you make now can help you overcome the current economic challenges to adapt, adopt, and persevere. And technology can play a large role in helping your business emerge strong on the other side of this crisis.
Confronting crisis with creativity
Uncertain times present unprecedented opportunity for those ready to seize it. With agility, flexibility and adaptability, businesses can successfully move from concept to success – even in the face of constant change.
Our current economic reality isn’t the first time that small businesses have faced uncertainty in recent memory. The financial crisis of 2008 caused more than 170,000 small businesses to close in a two-year period, according to The Business Journals. Economic recessions are known for causing layoffs, business closures, and financial struggles. They are also famous for creating visionary entrepreneurs and innovative start-ups.
Out of the hardships of the Great Recession, some of the companies that are now household names were born. The founders of Warby Parker leveraged technology to thrive as a direct-to-consumer retail and e-commerce business in 2010. Companies such as Netflix reinvented themselves, evolving their delivery models by partnering with consumer electronics brands like Xbox to enable on-device content streaming starting in 2008. And let’s not forget about the explosion of gig-economy companies like Uber, founded in 2009.
Accelerate reinvention with technology
All of this is to say now, with so much uncertainty and change surrounding us every day, sets the stage for small businesses to survive and thrive. Reinvention and adopting new technology can help you differentiate yourself from your competition. The 2020 Small Business Digital Maturity Study conducted by IDC and commissioned by Cisco shows that over 70 percent of small businesses surveyed are accelerating the digitalization of their businesses as a result of COVID-19.
70 percent of small businesses surveyed are accelerating the digitalization of their businesses as a result of COVID-19
For small businesses, that means ensuring your networking, security, and collaboration technology solutions work well together. You also want to embrace solutions that enable remote work and can securely and reliably meet your organization’s needs. Integrated technology will help your organization:
- Remain agile
- Secure your data and people
- Operate efficiently with limited resources
- Keep costs down
- More easily scale to address changing business needs
We’ve built Cisco Designed with simple solutions to help you solve complex IT problems. Our technology can help you strengthen your business today and help you prepare for whatever tomorrow might bring.
Try before you buy
We know that you don’t have time – or money – to waste. That’s why we have a number of Cisco Designed promotions and free trials for networking, security, and collaboration solutions you can try before you buy. Sign up for a free trial of Meraki, Webex, Umbrella, and Duo to take them for a test drive!
Financing small business recovery
Once you’ve made a decision on the technology your small business needs, technology investments are one of many competing priorities. We can help alleviate financial pressures and offer peace of mind with a predictable payment schedule, no up-front costs, rates as low as 0%, and other flexible payment solutions. Explore our financing options for small businesses to learn more.
We’re your startup backup
Don’t let the current economic climate keep you from dreaming big and reinventing your business. Already, we’re hearing stories of small businesses using technology to persevere through challenges and innovate on the fly; stories of small businesses that are now leveraging technology to move at the speed of demand and grow at scale. Reimagining your small business requires adapting to the current climate, overcoming challenges, and adopting real solutions that can help you not only survive, but thrive to capitalize on unprecedented opportunity.
Read more on how technology can help you adapt, adopt and overcome the economic impact of COVID-19.
“Beyond Survival: A Small Business Resiliency Guide” from Cisco and LinkedIn provides guidance to get you started.
Original article can be found HERE