One year on, small business owners are still struggling with the effects of the pandemic – lockdowns in some parts of the world, closed borders and the uncertainty of an ongoing crisis.

A recent survey by Xero of small businesses worldwide, uncovered some of the effects – and looked at how business owners are coping.

Here are some of the findings that resonated with me.

Small businesses deliver value that is distinct from large enterprises

The study shows that personal interactions with consumers are key to success. Small business owners and employees can form personal connections with their customers, show empathy, and change quickly to meet customer needs. 

One hospitality business owner in Singapore said, “The most powerful advantage a small business has over a larger one is the human story… That inspires confidence and creates a personal connection.” 

Some consumer behaviours adopted during COVID-19 are here to stay

It’s no surprise that during the pandemic, small business revenue from online channels has seen a 12 percent increase from 2019.

More importantly, this trend is here to stay. While consumers expect to return to their old ways of spending and will return to physical stores, they also expect to keep using online channels.

Thriving in a world impacted by COVID-19 requires agility and strategic thinking

We all know small business owners have been pivoting fast, planning ahead and working to excel across all areas of business. That’s not an easy task at any time. 

Prior to COVID-19, our client running a restaurant cum bar in Singapore  was already very active in the social media and a well known brand, having put a lot of effort into marketing and branding. During the crisis, they leveraged on their social media, partnered even more closely with online grocers and grew their online sales of bottled specialty beers. When we closed their books, they actually did pretty well and were far more profitable in 2020 compared to 2019.

Key Actions

Forrester Consulting made five key recommendations on what small business owners can do to help their businesses thrive. 

Each recommendation is paired with a practical step you can action: 

  • Make company and financial information easily accessible and digitised
  • Create emotional connections with your customers
  • Start from your accountant to seek out available help in the ecosystem
  • Increase efficiency with cloud-based tools
  • Leverage partner data sources to predict and plan for the future

We are Agere, being one of the most experienced Xero Platinum Partner in Singapore, can help you with the action plans.

If you are not on Xero yet, we can help you implement Xero, go completely digital with the Xero integrated apps, enabling you analyse your financial information and make better business decisions. Agere is also a PSG Grant approved vendor. So you do not have to pay an arm and a leg to get started!

If you are already a Xero user, congratulations! We can help you get the most out of Xero, with it’s automated invoice reminders, bank feeds, and integrated apps. 

Talk to us at 6385 0691. Or WhatsApp us at 8893 3960.

P.S Read the full Xero study to learn more about its recommendations, top actions to take, and to dive into the details.