According to the State of Small Business survey, small business owners are adapting to the challenges thrown at them by the pandemic to improve their resilience. The report found that technology is the leading enabler of business even during the massive disruptions that have been experienced over the past two years. Accordingly, digital-savvy Gen Z-owned businesses have managed to withstand the challenges, with only 17% of those businesses stating that they have experienced losses due to the pandemic. On the other hand, 80% of businesses owned by Gen Z expect to get more than half of their revenue from digital platforms, compared to just 33% for businesses owned by the baby boomers. Regardless of the differences in the age of the owners, about 44% of all small business owners say they experienced revenue loss during the pandemic.
Of all the business owners, almost half of them said that they had embraced technology in response to the challenges posed by the pandemic. This will contribute to 52% of all small businesses gaining over half of all their revenues using digital means by 2022. This is an increase from 42% back in 2019. Furthermore, 56% of all small business owners capitalized on Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to sort their revenue problems and expenses.
According to the same report, women appear to be the most optimistic compared to men when it comes to starting a business. However, this can be due to the 2.3 million women forced out of work by the pandemic as they sought to engage in family-related activities such as childcare, health, and others. Based on recent studies, women are more likely to start a new business than men at 11.3% compared to only 5.6%. Similarly, more women (57%) are likely to start sole proprietorship than men (42%).
In terms of the economy, small business owners are optimistic that the vaccinations will open things up, and most businesses will resume normal operations. Generation Z is the most optimistic group about the broader economy and how their businesses will benefit from the opening of the economy. As online shopping continues increasing, most small business owners are finding e-payment platforms such as PayPal as the most useful product or service that will shape the future of businesses.
Although starting or running a small business at the time of a pandemic like this might be a challenge, many small business owners are ready to put up a brave face and do it anyway. This definitely has a consequence, that most entrepreneurs are ready to live with, as most of them know exactly what it takes to own and operate a business. Moving forward, the opening up of the economy might change things and reduce challenges, and that is what most small businesses hope. As a small business owner, look for the right approaches to the prevailing challenges and remain optimistic about the good things to come.