As businesses and consumers start to gradually emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions in many parts of the world, it is time for entrepreneurs to think about the future and changes in direction. Although the world we used to know is no longer the status quo, a new way of doing business brings new norms and new trends. Here is a quick overview of what the SMEs need to keep an eye on in the business world beyond COVID-19.

1- Digital transformation is a MUST for staying relevant

While many small businesses already take advantage of solutions like cloud storage and collaboration tools, 2020 is the year SMEs must start integrating technologies to ensure their businesses remain resilient, flexible, and agile. Check out Transforming small business: the top 4 emerging trends for SMB digital transformation in 2020 for a closer look at the platforms that integrate workflows with AI, security, connectivity and continuity.

2- Smart social media use can help your business find success!

Even before the pandemic hit, social media was an integral part of many people’s lives and daily routines. With the surge of digital marketing needs and digital payments, as well as the growing influence of social media on the lives of consumers, it’s no surprise that businesses are flocking to various social media platforms hoping to connect with their target consumers. With new platforms changing the scene, it is critical small businesses find a way to get onto the newest platforms to access consumers.

Some of the latest trends in social media include shoppable posts, interactive content, video content, Google ads, Tik-tok marketing and influencer marketing (even micro-influencer marketing!). Learn more about the top social media trends 2020 to help fuel your strategy and make your business stand out in the crowd.

3- The pandemic has changed customer behavior, potentially forever

The pandemic has not only had an impact on business activity, but it has also significantly changed the behavior of customers. It has made some temporary - even long term - shifts in:

  • How we shop i.e. surge in e-commerce, decline in discretionary spending, shift to local stores;
  • How we work i.e. remote working, Zoom/Skype meetings
  • How we communicate i.e. migration from in-person to social media; and
  • How we entertain ourselves i.e. digital entertainment, cinema to streaming  

Many of the longer-term changes are still ongoing, and might not even become visible until 2021, thereby giving companies an opportunity to help shape the next normal, as well as to adapt their strategies and operations accordingly. Check out an inforgraphic from McKinsey & Co. and understand better how you can meet the ever changing demands of your customers.

4- Expect a re-shaped workplace in the post-covid world

In the wake of the pandemic, companies have to pivot quickly to remain competitive and focus on their teams to ensure they keep them happy. This includes re-thinking and re-defining their physical workspace, re-considering co-working environments, understanding the flexibility and feasibility of remote working, as well as work and life balance and integration.

For example, we have seen a rising demand that, as physical workplaces re-open, they must adopt hygienic measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus and protect workers. However, in doing so, they must also offer an enabling environment that stimulates worker's abilities to collaborate with colleagues safely.

Technologies will play an even more important role in the post-covid workplace, as they improve user experience (employee experience) and provide a new type of “digital and touch-less”office, to ensure safety and hygiene. Learn more about the workplace of the future here and get some inspiration for your own office!

5- Keywords for the post-covid business world: People-focused, AI, Mobile marketing, Gen Z, and Cashless

Wonder what all these words mean exactly when it comes to your business? Check out this article on 5 Small-Business Trends to Pay Attention to in 2020, which highlights some of the key changes in management, marketing, consumers activity and digitization, to help your business move the needle in the right direction. If you don’t know what these words mean yet, it’s time to study up! Understanding how to remain people-focused within your organization, or how Gen Z will behave, as the most important young consumers in a post-covid world, are all sure to be essential to the success of any small business in 2021 and beyond.

Getting ready to re-open your business or to adapt your business operations and models? Create your Ye! profile here and check out what we offer for you!

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