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The Road to Recovery: How SMEs Can Get Back on Track

The year 2020 has been extra challenging for a lot of us. The global effects of the pandemic reached every person from every class of society. Young and old, rich and poor, healthy and sick, we all felt COVID-19’s adverse effects not just on the health front but on the economic side as well.

While bigger corporations have certain safety nets in place for such a time, small and medium enterprises are left hurting a lot.

There are ways that SMEs like a heating company, a roof repair service provider, or a small grocer can regain their footing and recover whatever momentum they had before the pandemic hit us.

Keep the workplace safe for everyone.

Health and safety are at the forefront of people’s minds at this time, especially with the current surge of COVID-19 cases and the new strain found in the U.K. and South Africa. Since the economy reopened, bricks-and-mortars started making physical changes that comply with the WHO and CDC guidelines for COVID-19.

For SME owners to regain customer and employee confidence, they need to make the necessary changes in the workplace to ensure that public health is protected.

Mind your own business.

People have a hard time moving forward in life because they get their noses up in other people’s businesses. There is a parallel in the world of business. If you want to move ahead of the competition, you need to stop focusing on what they’re doing and mind your own business.

Literally.

You need to exert all of your efforts and energy in making your business the best that it can be. If you hold your own affairs to a higher standard, you will inevitably gain customer loyalty despite the present global climate.

a man wearing a mask at work

Prepare for the worst.

Preparedness is another key factor for SMEs to succeed this year. As it is, even with the availability and distribution of the vaccine, we’re not out of the woods yet. There is a new strain that’s found to be a lot more threatening, and we still have no assurance of the vaccine’s efficacy.

That being said, SME owners need to map out contingency plans just in case things get from bad to worse. They need to have certain systems if another season of lockdown is needed or if the economy takes another downturn. Failure to plan is planning to fail.

Own your failures and share your successes.

One of the traits of successful people is they take responsibility for the bad and share the credit with others for good.

If a monkey wrench is thrown into your program at a certain point, don’t look for people to blame but rather own up to it and do something about it to rectify the situation.

If you hit gold with something that you do, don’t take all the credit for yourself. There is no such thing as a self-made man or woman. At different points, people helped you and opened doors for you. Having said that, you need to give credit where credit is due, especially if you’re working with a team.

Keep adapting to remain relevant.

With all the uncertainty the future holds, SME owners need to be highly adaptable to roll with life’s punches. They cannot afford to be stuck in traditions and formulas because the challenges that come our way, especially now, keep evolving. We need to evolve if we expect to beat the pandemic.

Be optimistic at all times and maintain positivity at the workplace.

There’s no getting around it. 2020 was a bad year for all of us. No matter how hard we tried to make the most out of it, you cannot ignore the fact that it is probably one of the worst years we’ve had in recent history. However, that shouldn’t take away from us looking forward to a better year in 2021. In fact, according to a study conducted recently by Bluehost, 72% of SMEs are confident of a better overall performance this year.

The pandemic has taught business owners and entrepreneurs to be more resilient, adaptive, and creative, all of which they carry into 2021. They are better armed to face the pandemic’s challenges as it spills over to this new year. This makes them wiser and more committed to excellent customer experience and gives them greater confidence and positivity about the things in store for them this year.

Keep your chin up and face the year with greater courage and optimism. The only way this will rub off on other people in your workplace is if it manifests in you first. Be the positive light in your workplace and let your light shine not just to make your business stand out but to inspire your customers and your community.

As we start the new year, we are given at least 365 new opportunities to make the most out of what we have. Let’s not waste any one of them. It’s time for all of us to get back on our feet, recover what we lost, and build upon it. We can do this.

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