10 Aug 2021
Staying afloat in the storm of the century
Small and medium-sized businesses have suffered grievously during the Covid pandemic. Lacking the depth of pocket, breadth of interests and extent of continuity planning of larger companies, many have had a torrid time, with owners often spending their own savings or taking second jobs just to keep the business afloat.
But smaller firms do have one invaluable advantage over larger rivals: agility. While the corporate CEO is straining at the helm of the oil tanker, the SME skipper can reset every sail and disappear over the horizon.
Even in the hardest-hit sectors, SMEs have found new routes to market, often online. Pre-Covid, field and retail marketing agency Gekko majored on training shop-floor staff, so lockdown was a hammer blow. CEO Daniel Todaro’s response was to go virtual.
“We moved at pace to pivot and develop new digital services, including a digital learning management system for retail sales teams. We’d been strategising this for a while, but the pandemic forced us to rapidly speed up development. The upshot is we’ve been able to train many more staff, and created a valued new service [to] complement our in-store activity. So in meeting the needs of the evolved channel, we’ve helped diversify our business offering.”
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