Tuesday 21st Apr 2020
- 1 in 5 small businesses say the prospect of working remotely for months on end is a major concern
- 30% say their tech set up is holding them back - half of these concerned they may have to close their business until the virus is under control
- Small businesses twice as likely as large to have concerns about their business’ survival during coronavirus period
With lockdown underway for the foreseeable future, new research has revealed a large number of small businesses are facing significant problems without the right tech infrastructure in place.
A survey by Hitachi Capital Business Finance found small businesses were more likely to consider the prospect of working from home indefinitely a major challenge than larger businesses (21% vs 15%).
Technology was central to this problem. Asking to what extent the level of technology in their business was affecting their day-to-day operations during this period of coronavirus outbreak, 30% of small businesses said they would be held back, with almost half of these businesses suggesting they may be forced to close temporarily until the virus was under control.
More broadly, the research found that small businesses were twice as likely to have concerns about their business’s survival as larger ones during this period of coronavirus lockdown. The results showed that a third of small business respondents (31%) said they had concerns, compared with 19% of larger businesses.
Gavin Wraith-Carter, Managing Director at Hitachi Capital Business Finance commented: “Uncertainty is the biggest threat to business. Without warning, businesses have been thrust into a situation that few would ever have imagined. Businesses are now being forced to tread water as events unfold, and should be aware of the government incentives to help ease the burden in the form of grants or the CBILS. For business owners, the key is in focussing on the aftermath of events, to ensure operations can resume to normal as quickly as possible once the green light is given, and capitalise on the opportunities at hand.
“Extreme situations will stretch businesses to limits, and expose areas that require attention. Smaller businesses, without the same resources and facilities as their larger counterparts, will have felt this bump the hardest. However, many of these issues can be fixed, and these improvements will offer significant competitive advantage over the years. Where small businesses have an advantage over their larger counterparts is the speed at which these changes can be implemented and incorporated into the core business practice.”
Note to editors
The research was conducted by MaruBlue among a representative sample of 2,135 small and large business owners and decision makers. The research was carried out between 20-23 March 2020.