According to a recent Forbes article, a survey of 900+ American workers on the causes of the “Great Resignation” revealed why millions quit their jobs, including low salaries, limited career opportunities, and inadequate pandemic health measures, just to name a few. SMB Group, a technology industry research, analysis, and consulting firm focused on the small and medium business (SMB) market, has a vested interest in understanding how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting SMB trends for the year ahead.
As such, the firm conducted its own survey of 736 decision-makers and influencers compiled their results in a complimentary eBook, SMB Directions for the Future of Work.
Optimistic SMB Trends
The eBook takes a deep dive into the business, technology, workplace, staffing, human resources, and collaboration trends shaped by two years of unrest. It notes that the many changes, challenges, and opportunities brought by the pandemic have “dramatically impacted the workplace and workforce, where the power dynamic has tipped from employers to employees.”
Though power shifts can be concerning, the first SMB business trend suggests that SMBs (ranging in size from 3 employees to 2,500 employees) are feeling optimistic about the future. “SMB optimism plummeted at the outset of the pandemic but has risen steadily through 2020 to November 2021, when this survey was fielded. In this latest study, optimism generally rose with company size, and there were substantial differences in future prospects by industry.”
The survey found that the increase in optimism correlated with the number of employees: the greater the number of employees, the greater the increase in optimism. Sixty-one percent of the SMBs expected to see revenue increases from April 2020 to November 2021, and about three quarters “made changes to their business and technology strategies to adapt to new market conditions.”
Even so, the second trend points to a number of macro trends that potentially counteract these positive vibes. The macro trends include rising inflation, supply chain interruptions, talent shortages, and more.
Here are a few of the other SMB trends:
- Remote work is here to stay (with challenges)
- Collaboration apps are critical
- Cybersecurity safeguards a top technology challenge
- New employee hires expected for the next 12 months
SMBs are also working to retain employees by upping their flexibility game. The eBook notes, “58% said that they have a strategy to support a more flexible workplace, and 32% said they are developing one.” Ninety percent say they’re seeing this flexibility pay off.
Download the eBook Today
Acumatica is a proud sponsor of SMB Directions for the Future of Work. It’s filled with findings and insights that will help SMBs in every industry plan for 2022 success. And we’re especially fond of one of the nine takeaways, which points to the benefits of adopting technology, such as a cloud ERP solution.
“Just under half of SMBs said that they accelerated tech adoption due to COVID-19. The link between tech investments and performance is clear: SMBs that accelerated technology adoption and investments were 1.6 times more likely to anticipate increased revenues in their next fiscal year than those that decelerated or made no change.”