Now that we are well into 2021, reports have started being published regarding the affect 2020 took on small businesses and the changes they made. According to SCORE, a nonprofit which works with the U.S. Small Business Administration, 90% of small businesses digitized their businesses last year. With the help of additional software, “92% of small business owners converted to digital team collaboration.” That is a huge number, spurred by the popularity of browser-based collaboration platforms even before last March.
The Connected Commerce Council, along with Google, released a separate report entitled “Digitally Empowered: How digital tools power small businesses,” which states that 76% of their respondents said that they are “relying more on digital tools to run their business.”
Digging deeper, SCORE notes that “40% of small business owners adopted project management software for permanent use.” Have you been using video services like GoToMeeting or Zoom? Well, you might be surprised to find that only 39% of businesses surveyed plan to permanently use video conferencing software in the future. Despite this, “92% of small businesses converted to virtual meetings.”
Another huge number, this time for retail businesses -- according to SCORE, “95% of small business owners adopted online checkout,” while “93% adopted contactless delivery/pickup.”
So how did that affect productivity? According to SCORE, 47% of respondents saw increased productivity, with 45% showing increased sales and 42% reporting reduced costs.
Digitally Empowered states that 31% of their respondents said that without the digital tools adopted over the past year, they likely would have had to close.
Their report also shows that 74% of small business owners expect that their business will return to normal within six months.