It’s safe to say that many of us have been affected by COVID-19 – perhaps not the virus itself, but by its wide-ranging impact. For example, the devastating effect on small and medium businesses (SMBs), the engine of many economies around the world is palpable and needs a targeted solution.
But do we know just how deep and broad the impact is? Research by QuickBooks Australia shows just how much small and medium Australian businesses are being affected by COVID-19. Small businesses absorbed the hardest impact by government shutdowns with many business owners reeling during this uncertain time and wondering just how they can navigate (if even just to survive) this new world order.
Around 63 percent of small businesses have reported that they’ve been direly impacted by the virus, which caused them to either reduce or stand down staff, cutting back business hours or even freezing non-essential services in a bid to stay afloat.
An overwhelming majority of businesses are afraid about the possibility of closing their business – with many citing the issue of profitability over the short and long-term future. 40 percent already saw a decline in revenue of 50 percent or more over the 1-2 months, and 91 say they are concerned about their businesses’ future over 4-6 months.
A recent stimulus package by the government has provided some relief with 72 percent believing government assistance and tax benefits are very beneficial to help them persevere regardless of the COVID-19 crisis.
As for the specific level of concern for profitability, half of the small businesses said they are very concerned about profitability over the next 1-3 months, 53 percent over the next 4-6 months, and 51 percent in 7 or more months. Nine out of ten businesses are concerned about their business in the next 4-6 months.
Small Businesses Most Impacted by the pandemic
The impact of COVID-19 varies by type of business and these three categories are most affected: personal service, hospitality, and retail. Smaller companies receive slightly less hit, while companies with fewer than 20 employees are most affected.
This is because a small business with fewer than 20 employees generally lacks cash flow and capital. These companies were the first to lessen working hours for employees or even lay them off. They’re also the first businesses to stop hiring subcontractors.
These businesses need to learn how to serve customers in the new stay-at-home environment. Specifically, they need to accomplish a domain name search to secure an online domain name (address) and establish a web presence. This ensures that they can continue providing products or services to clients whether old or new.
If you’re a small or medium business owner, you already knew that you could never drop the ball, not even when times were good. For businesses in retail who relied on in-store traffic, small business owners must find a new way to get their product to the customers.
If you still don’t use a website, now’s the time to consider it, starting with domain name search to ensure your business name or its equal is available for purchase. Switching the emphasis to online ordering may be the only way to not just survive in this new world, but even thrive in it.