Small businesses adjust to a new normal

More than four in five small business owners (81%) have made key changes to their business and services in order to prepare for the economic uncertainty in the months ahead.

Family-run businesses were significantly more likely to focus on the physical workplace, adapting the layout of their work premises to comply with PHE guidelines than the average small business.

Family business owners were also more likely than the national average to have;

  • re-skilled and retrained their staff (25% Vs 20% on average)
  • introduced new competitive pricing or promo offers for their clients (24% Vs 19% on average)
  • simplified product lines to focus on areas of core strength (20% Vs 17% nationally).

Looking at the national picture, our research suggests that investing more heavily in digital capabilities and adjusting the workplace were the key considerations for the average business.

Overall, 27% of respondents said they were now spending more time talking to their existing clients through online platforms, with 25% saying they were looking to sell more goods and services through online channels, In addition, 21% of small businesses said they were investing more in digital marketing to reach new audiences.

Other steps Small Businesses are taking include adapting the service offer and pricing adjustments to reflect new market conditions along with;

Simplify product lines, changing the service offer, putting more focus on quality & premium services and looking for opportunities in overseas markets.

At Novuna Business Finance we are interested in understanding how different small business groups react differently to common challenges, as this gives us the basis to ensure we can help more small business to secure growth in the uncertain months ahead.

(The research was conducted by Maru/Blue among a representative sample of 1,447 small business decision makes in Aug-Sep 2020 spanning industry sectors).