2021 Trends and Expectations for SMB
From 2020 to 2021
2020 has unarguably been a tough year, specifically for small and medium businesses across the world. We predicted the Technology Investments in 2020 and we've been right on the money on our predictions. Now we present the 2021 trends and expectations for SMBs.
Run, Grow, Transform ..
Every business either deliberately or forcefully ended the status quo in 2020. The way Businesses have reacted to the challenges posed by 2020 is a reflection of the resiliency of the business.
Pushed by the softness in revenue, a lot of businesses have reduced the spending, utilizing cutting the costs as a mechanism to cope with the loss in revenue. These businesses have been focused on running the business (RTB).
Then there are businesses that have utilized the opportunity to focus on specific areas of improvement, focusing on new revenue streams or expediting shutting down sick units, these businesses have focused on growing the business (GTB).
However, the change leaders have looked at the opportunity to invest in changing the way they do business. These leaders have identified 2020 as the year of investing in the business and Transforming the business (TTB) keeping the future in mind. TTB initiatives in these trying circumstances is a reflection of the confidence in the business model and a reflection of the farsightedness of these businesses.
The start of the new year also showed a glimmer of hope and organizations need to be prepared for a transformation in 2021. Organizations need to keep the focus on the TTB initiatives to be prepared for growth
Digital Transformation for SMB
Fueled by the pandemic, people are spending more and more time on the internet. Forbes lists the Digital footprint as the number 1 trend for 2021. An enhanced digital footprint and visibility would be a key growth driver in 2021. The digital footprint needs to be aligned with a technology transformation to compete with other players in the space and if organizations don’t enhance their digital offerings, they would face increased pressures on their top line. Business leaders are universally aligned on the need to improve on this aspect, but face challenges on the change execution and operations of the new Digital reality.
Generating new revenue streams
With Digitalization comes the opportunity for new platforms for marketing, improving the brand, and increasing the client base. And with these new avenues, the potential to add new services and hence new revenue streams. One of our clients, primarily in the B2B space has utilized the last few months of 2020 to add a B2C model to their offering and is ready to launch the new revenue stream in Q1 2021. Building new revenue streams requires careful analysis and decisive leadership and would need experienced resources. Partnering with consulting organizations to fill in gaps would be key to achieving the revenue goals.
Organization changes are disruptive, and leaders have to choose between aligning the organization for future growth versus and risking the existing sustaining model. The current situation should be utilized as a catalyst for organizational changes and Organizations need to realign for the paradigm shift post-Covid-19. The realignment has to account for a wider digital footprint, remote working, and agility as key factors of growth.
With any of the changes mentioned, a key element is to get the right people to guide organizations. Any of these initiatives cannot be done in silos and would have interdependency and will, without exception, require a robust change control mechanism. The organization culture would need to be at a very important factor to consider when putting together a strategy for the change.