In the past year-plus, the novel coronavirus pandemic threw a lot of hurdles in front of small businesses the world over. Now, however, many highly industrialized countries are rolling out vaccines at a rate that is helping them get back to normal, and these independently owned companies seem poised to rebound sooner than later, despite past problems with their supply chains.
In fact, 57% of entrepreneurs say their small companies are back to being fully open as state and local authorities ease off on coronavirus shutdowns and capacity limits, according to the recent Small Business Recovery Report from Kabbage. However, it's worth noting that the lessons they learned from the pandemic are likely to help them keep their companies on solid ground after the rocky year they just experienced; 77% say they are now more willing to adopt technology that helps them run their companies more efficiently.
That comes at a time when owners say that they are expecting revenue growth in the year ahead, projecting an average increase of 21%, the survey showed. That, in turn, allows them to get their business operations back to pre-pandemic norms. Half of respondents say they will believe they are fully out of the woods when they can afford to pay their employees a full wage without being worried about their bottom lines, and nearly as many entrepreneurs felt the same way about boosting their own salaries once again.
A big recovery
This comes at a time when the U.S. and U.K., in particular, are seeing their economic activity recover at all-time record rates, the latest Purchasing Managers' Index from IHS Markit showed. Other major nations are also largely in recovery mode during the month of May — the Eurozone as a whole is experiencing its fastest growth since February 2018, paced by France and Germany, while Australia is starting to see a slight decline from the previous month's record pace.
Indeed, business activity and output in the U.S. spiked in May, obliterating the previous high for output growth on the PMI scale, the report said. In April, this reading was in line with the high of the last decade, an index number of slightly more than 60 set in early 2014. Just one month later, the scale is closer to 70. That's a remarkable recovery from the reading of only about 30 in the early days of the pandemic.
Taking advantage of the shift
Experts now say that if companies want to position themselves well for future growth in the post-COVID era, it would be wise to make strategic tech investments that allow them to keep up with the competition, according to the National Association of Manufacturers. Now is the perfect time to do so, simply because things are in recovery mode and there are more opportunities for companies to grow in new ways.
As such, there's no better time than the present to ensure you are at least looking at your organization's options for growth, whether that means hiring once again or investing in new technology. If you can get a better idea of all the available opportunities, you'll be in great shape to take a critical first step toward seizing the opportunity.