Intelligent SME.tech Issue 12 - Page 43

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// FEATURE //

operations over the past year will benefit their business long-term .
For the fifth edition of the Small and Medium Business Trends report , we analysed the responses of more than 2,500 SMB owners and leaders around the world to determine :
• How support from local communities has affected SMBs
• What SMBs are doing to deepen trust with customers and employees
• How technology helps SMBs grow
• What has changed for SMBs over the past year and how that impacts their future
SMBs are pushing forward after more than a year of change . Owners and leaders have guided their businesses through an on-going health crisis , large-scale social change and a volatile economy . While many businesses suffered in the pandemic , others seized entrepreneurial opportunities .
As we see in this year ’ s report , many SMB leaders have successfully adjusted – and even flourished . In the fifth edition of the Small and Medium Business Trends report , we share a snapshot of SMB leaders ’ current perceptions and insights and how these have changed .

1

Communities and governments step up for SMBs
Due to pandemic shutdowns , SMBs found themselves even more resourcestrapped – all while struggling to maintain revenue streams . Governments and local communities alike stepped up to help . Twothirds of SMB leaders say community support has been important to their company ’ s survival .

2

Customer and employee engagement take priority
After a period of turmoil , SMBs are looking to deepen trust . To do so , they ’ re focusing on providing employees with transparent communications and flexibility , while also meeting customer expectations . More than seven in 10 SMBs say their customers expect online transactions , and nearly the same proportion have an e-commerce presence .

3

SMBs embrace the digitalfirst world
In an increasingly unpredictable world , SMB leaders are accelerating their tech investments – seeking technology to help their business survive even the most tumultuous times . More than half of growing SMBs accelerated investments in sales and customer service technology over the past year .

4

SMBs foresee longterm changes from the pandemic
Many SMB leaders have rethought their strategies in order to keep their businesses afloat ; in doing so , operations became more efficient . SMBs now plan to keep some of those changes permanently . Three-quarters of SMB leaders believe shifts they ’ ve made to business operations over the past year will benefit them long-term . �

IN AN INCREASINGLY UNPREDICTABLE WORLD , SMB LEADERS ARE ACCELERATING THEIR TECH INVESTMENTS – SEEKING TECHNOLOGY TO HELP THEIR BUSINESS SURVIVE EVEN THE MOST TUMULTUOUS TIMES .
Alexis Andreieff , Senior Regional Vice President – SMB , Mediterranean , Middle East and Africa , Salesforce
Intelligent SME . tech
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